Validation of the "important other" climate questionnaire: Assessing autonomy support for health-related change

Geoffrey C. Williams, Martin F. Lynch, Holly A. McGregor, Richard M. Ryan, Daryl Sharp, Edward L. Deci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Self-determination theory suggests that autonomy support from others is important in motivating change of various health behaviors. The present research provides initial validation for the Important Other Climate Questionnaire for smoking (IOCQ-S) and for diet (IOCQ-D) in the context of a large (N = 1,006) intensive tobacco treatment and dietary intervention trial. These scales are intended to measure the degree of autonomy support patients experience from important others (non-health care professionals) with respect to tobacco abstinence and eating a healthy diet. Results indicate the measures are reliable (α =.87 smoking and.95 diet) and valid. Important other support was associated with change in perceived autonomy and perceived competence for target behaviors. Further, the IOCQ-S was associated with 7-day point prevalence cessation and 6-month prolonged abstinence from tobacco. The IOCQ-D was associated with a change in the percentage of calories from fat, saturated fat, and monounsaturated fat. Initial reliability and validity are supported for the IOCQ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-194
Number of pages16
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Autonomy support
  • Dietary change
  • Extra-treatment support
  • Social support
  • Tobacco dependence treatment


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