Development and Psychometric Analysis of the Brief DSM–5 Alcohol Use Disorder Diagnostic Assessment: Towards Effective Diagnosis in College Students

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The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition) Alcohol Use Disorder (DSM–5 AUD) criteria have been modified to reflect a single, continuous disorder. It is critical that we develop brief assessment measures that can accurately assess for DSM–5 AUD criteria in college students to assist in screening, referral, and brief intervention services implemented on college campuses. The present study sought to develop and assess for the psychometric properties of a brief 13-item measure designed to capture the full spectrum of the DSM–5 AUD criteria in a sample of college students. Participants were past-year drinkers (N = 923) between the ages of 18 to 30 enrolled at 3 universities. Respondents completed a 30-min anonymous battery of questionnaires online. The Brief DSM–5 AUD Assessment consisted of 13 items designed to reflect the DSM–5 AUD criteria. Results indicated a high degree of internal consistency reliability with high item-to-scale correlations. Confirmatory factor analyses indicated that a dominant single factor emerged with good model fit. The Item Response Theory (IRT) analyses indicated that the difficulty parameters for each criterion were intermixed along the upper portion of the underlying AUD severity continuum, and the discrimination parameters were all high. Additional analysis indicated that those with a DSM–5 AUD had greater levels of alcohol and other drug use and problem severity in comparison to those without a DSM–5 AUD. Study findings provide empirical support for the reliability and validity of the Brief 13-item DSM–5 Assessment. It should be routinely included into research and clinical practice efforts.

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