The College Alcohol Problems Scale

Document Type


Date of Original Version



A short, reliable two-factor instrument measuring drinking-related negative consequences was developed from a previous measure using two samples of college students. In Study I, data on alcohol use and problems associated with alcohol use were collected on 382 introductory psychology students. The original College Alcohol Problems Scale (CAPS) was tested and found to fit the data poorly. Sequential methods were used to develop a revised instrument. Principal components analyses (PCA) on half of the sample were conducted on 20 items written to measure negative consequences related to college student drinking. Results indicated a two-factor solution measuring social and emotional problems. Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) on the other half of the sample confirmed the two-factor structure. Further refinement of the instrument resulted in the revised CAPS (CAPS-r), an eight-item two-factor scale. In Study II, the response format was altered to coincide with the Young Adult Problem Screening Test. A total of 726 students completed the instrument as part of a university-wide random sample. CFA showed that the hypothesized model fit well across all measures of model fit and the factor structure was invariant across gender. Additional analyses revealed that the scale was internally consistent and externally valid. A short reliable and valid measure of alcohol-related problems is needed to enable low-cost data collection on college campuses across the nation, as well as to facilitate program evaluation and routine epidemiological surveillance and monitoring. Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Addictive Behaviors