Psychometric Analysis and Validity of the Daily Alcohol-Related Consequences and Evaluations Measure for Young Adults

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Abstract

College students experience a variety of effects resulting from alcohol use and evaluate their experiences on a continuum from negative to positive. Using daily reports collected via cell phone, we examined the psychometric properties of alcohol use consequences and evaluations of those consequences. Participants were 349 undergraduate students (mean age 19.7 [SD = 1.26], 53.4% female). Data were analyzed using a multilevel factor analysis framework, incorporating binary items (consequences) and normally distributed items (evaluations). Our model converged on 2 factors—positive and negative—with similar loadings between- and within-persons. Intraclass correlation coefficients for positive consequences and their evaluations ranged from .30 to .40, whereas values for negative consequences were more variable. Intraclass correlation coefficients for negative evaluations were higher, suggesting evaluations were more trait-like compared to experience of consequences which may be context dependent. Generalizability coefficients on the whole were good to excellent, suggesting highly reliable scales at both person-mean and daily-mean levels. However, likely due to binary scale and infrequency, the generalizability coefficients for negative consequences at the daily level was somewhat low. Convergent validity was demonstrated by (a) positive associations between baseline Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index and Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test scores with latent factors for daily positive and negative consequences, and (b) positive associations between daily drinking and daily consequences and evaluations of consequences. Overall, this measure demonstrated good psychometric properties for use in studies examining daily and lagged relationships between alcohol use and related consequences.

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