A reliability and validity analysis of an alcohol-related harm scale for surveys

J Stud Alcohol. 1999 Mar;60(2):203-8. doi: 10.15288/jsa.1999.60.203.


Objective: To test reliability and construct validity of an alcohol-related harm scale widely used in North American surveys.

Method: Data base: three representative general population household telephone surveys in Ontario, Canada (1994: N = 2,022, response rate 63%; 1995: N = 994, response rate 63%; 1996: N = 2,721, response rate 64%).

Statistical analysis: psychometric analysis of internal consistency (Cronbach); Mokken scaling to test homogeneity of underlying construct; tests for construct validity by measuring associations with similar scales.

Results: The scale showed high internal consistency and homogeneity of the underlying construct. The correlations with the CAGE and ICD-10 criteria for dependence ranged between 0.5 and 0.7.

Conclusions: The harm scale is measuring a unidimensional construct, but one which is not distinct from that measured by the CAGE or dependence criteria.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / standards*
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Psychometrics / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / standards