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01-12-2011 | Uitgave 4/2011

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 4/2011

Factor Structure Validation of the Alcohol Dependence Scale in a Heavy Drinking College Sample

Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment > Uitgave 4/2011
Cara M. Murphy, James MacKillop


The prevalence of alcohol use disorders in college students necessitates that adequate measures exist to assess students for abuse and dependence. The Alcohol Dependence Scale (ADS) is a continuous measure of the severity of alcohol involvement found to have a unidimensional factor structure in clinical samples. The latent factor structure of the ADS in college drinkers has not been examined and this study sought to replicate unidimensionality. Heavy college drinkers (N = 343) completed the ADS. Performance was examined using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory factor analysis (EFA). The CFA did not support a single factor solution. Follow-up EFA revealed a two factor structure. The first, termed “Acute Excessive Drinking” consisted of relatively commonly endorsed items relating to loss of behavioral control, blackouts, and obsessive/compulsive drinking. The second, termed “Severe Withdrawal Symptoms,” consisted of relatively infrequently endorsed items relating to withdrawal symptoms. The ADS does not appear to have the same factor structure in college and clinical samples, making it inadvisable as a linear measure of alcohol problems within a college population.

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