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J Am Coll Health. 1992 Sep;41(2):49-58.

Assessing alcohol problems in college students.

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Department of Psychology, University of Missouri, Columbia.


Alcohol abuse among college students is prevalent, yet few instruments with sound reliability and validity are available to assess these problems in this population. As part of a large, baseline assessment battery for a prospective study of offspring of alcoholics, the 27-item Young Adult Alcohol Problems Screening Test (YAAPST) was given to 490 freshmen at a large midwestern university; approximately 9 months later, 482 subjects completed the scale again. In addition to asking about such traditional problems as experiencing blackouts and driving while intoxicated, the YAAPST included specific items relating to college experiences (eg, getting into sexual situations that were later regretted, missing classes, and receiving lower grades than usual). The YAAPST was designed to assess these drinking consequences over two different time frames, lifetime and past year, and also to indicate the frequency of occurrence during the past year. Results indicated that the YAAPST is a unidimensional scale with good psychometric properties (good internal consistency and test-retest reliability). Three different approaches were used to demonstrate the validity of the YAAPST. Findings supported criterion validity (with interview-based alcohol abuse/dependence diagnoses as the criterion), concurrent validity (comparing the YAAPST with other drinking measures), and construct validity (correlating the YAAPST with etiologically relevant personality, motivational, and peer influence variables). The YAAPST is a promising screening instrument for alcohol problems in college students. It has excellent psychometric properties and the potential to provide a range of useful information to the clinician or researcher.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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