The Betel Quid Dependence Scale: replication and extension in a Guamanian sample

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014 May 1;138:154-60. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.02.022. Epub 2014 Feb 26.


Background: Betel quid is the fourth most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world. The Betel Quid Dependence Scale (BQDS) is the first instrument designed specifically to measure betel quid dependence. The three factor structure of the BQDS consists of "physical and psychological urgent need," "increasing dose," and "maladaptive use." The BQDS initially was validated in a sample of male prisoner ex-chewers in Taiwan.

Objective: To replicate and extend the original validation research on the BQDS in a sample of male and female current betel quid chewers in Guam.

Methods: A survey containing the BQDS was administered to 300 current betel quid chewers in Guam. Participants were compensated for their time with a gift card worth $25.

Results: Confirmatory factor analysis revealed an adequate fit with the hypothesized three-factor measurement model. ANOVAs and structural equations modeling revealed that betel quid dependence is associated with the inclusion of tobacco in the quid, number of chews per day, years of chewing, and education.

Conclusions: The BQDS is valid for current English-speaking male and female chewers in Guam. Overall levels of betel quid dependence were high, and most chewers included tobacco in their betel quid. The results suggest that levels of dependence for betel quid are similar to those observed for nicotine dependence. Future research should explore other important psychological and behavioral aspects of betel quid chewing such as health risk perceptions and motivation to quit chewing.

Keywords: Areca nut; Betel nut; Betel quid; Dependence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Areca*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Guam
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Young Adult