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Addiction. 2003 Dec;98 Suppl 2:1-12.

The validity of self-reports of alcohol consumption: state of the science and challenges for research.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Florida, USA. fdelboca@chuma1.cas.usf.edu

Abstract

AIMS:

To review three topics pertaining to the validity of alcohol self-reports: factors that influence response accuracy; the relative merits of different self-report approaches; and the utility of using alternative measures to confirm verbal reports.

FINDINGS:

Response behavior is influenced by the interaction of social context factors, respondent characteristics, and task attributes. Although research has advanced our knowledge about self-report methods, many questions remain unanswered. In particular, there is a need to investigate how task demands interact with different patterns of drinking behavior to affect response accuracy. There is also a continuing need to use multiple data sources to examine the extent of self-report response bias, and to determine whether it varies as a function of respondent characteristics or assessment timing.

CONCLUSION:

Self-report methods offer a reliable and valid approach to measuring alcohol consumption. The accuracy of such methods, however, can be improved by research directed at understanding the processes involved in response behavior.

PMID:
14984237
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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