The Valued Living Questionnaire for Alcohol Use: Measuring Value-Behavior Discrepancy in College Student Drinking

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Abstract

Developing discrepancy between one’s values and behaviors is theoretically important in motivating change; however, existing studies lack a validated measure of value-behavior discrepancy for alcohol misuse. The current studies aimed to modify Wilson & DuFrene (2008) Valued Living Questionnaire (VLQ) to assess consistency of alcohol use with important values. In Study 1, the initial factor structure and test–retest reliability of the VLQ for Alcohol Use (VLQ-A) was tested in a sample of college students who regularly drink alcohol (N = 150). Results guided modifications to the measure. In Study 2, the revised measure’s factor structure and predictive validity were tested with a second sample of college students who drink alcohol (N = 222). In both studies, exploratory factor analysis supported a unidimensional factor structure. Perceived discrepancy between alcohol use and important values predicted greater readiness to change, while perceived consistency between alcohol use and important values predicted more frequent heavy episodic drinking. Certain values were more useful in predicting outcomes than others. Alcohol use (heavy vs. moderate drinking) did not moderate outcomes. The VLQ-A is a brief and reliable self-report measure of perceived discrepancy between drinking behaviors and important values that may increase readiness to change. Future research examining the generalizability of findings to various samples and the efficacy of the VLQ-A as a supplement to brief interventions is warranted.

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