Decisional balance for immoderate drinking in college students

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Date of Original Version



Immoderate drinking in college is common and is associated with significant negative sequelae. In this study, measures of Decisional Balance for Immoderate Drinking were developed. This construct is proposed to represent the basic decision-making process that is used by students when deciding whether to drink at immoderate levels or not. Furthermore this construct is embedded in a larger model of behavior change, the Transtheoretical Model of Change, which has been shown to be effective in understanding many health-related behaviors across a wide variety of populations. A total of 629 college students were administered a 25-item decisional balance questionnaire in 1993-1994. Exploratory and confirmatory analyses suggested two different solutions, a two-factor solution and a three-factor solution, but did not provide clear evidence for the psychometric superiority of one over the other. The three-factor solution was chosen as it was seen as an elaboration of the two-factor solution, and validity evidence for this solution is presented. The three factors were labeled the Pros, the Cons-Actual, and the Cons-Potential of Immoderate Drinking. The Cons-Actual scale is a measure of negative affective states associated with current drinking whereas the Cons-Potential measures the risk of more concrete negative effects of drinking. External validity was established by the significant and meaningful differences on a number of alcohol-related variables including consumption variables, three measures of negative sequelae of immoderate drinking, and Stage of Change, the organizing construct of the Transtheoretical Model of Change.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Substance Use and Misuse