Validation and Psychometric Properties of the Alcohol Positive and Negative Affect Schedule: Are Drinking Emotions Distinct From General Emotions?

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People vary in experiences of positive and negative emotions from consuming alcohol, but no validated measurement instrument exclusively devoted to assessing drinking emotions exists in the literature. The current research validated and evaluated the psychometric properties of an alcohol affect scale based on adjectives from the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and tested the extent that emotions incurred from drinking were distinct from general trait-based emotions. Three studies tested independent samples of adult alcohol users. In Study 1 (N = 494), exploratory factor analyses of the Alcohol PANAS revealed that both the 20-item model and the 9-parcel model (represented by similar mood content) supported the 2-factor dimensionality of alcohol positive and negative affect. In Study 2 (N = 302), confirmatory factor analyses corroborated the measurement structure of alcohol positive and negative affect, and both constructs evidenced statistical independence from general positive and negative affect. In Study 3 (N = 452), alcohol positive and negative affect exhibited discriminant, convergent, and criterion validity with established alcohol scales. Incremental validity tests demonstrated that alcohol positive and negative affect uniquely contributed (beyond general positive and negative affect) to alcohol expectancies, use, and problems. Findings support that alcohol emotions are conceptually distinct from trait emotions, and underscore the necessity of an assessment instrument tailored to the former to examine associations with alcohol beliefs and behaviors. The Alcohol PANAS confers theoretical and practical applications to understand the emotional consequences of drinking.

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