Abstract

Aims

To assess the concurrent validity of the two-item NIAAA/American Academy of Pediatrics Brief Alcohol Use Screener, a developmentally sensitive assessment instrument, in a school-based sample of adolescents.

Method

The sample consisted of 756 adolescents (53% girls; Mage = 13.7 years; SD = 1.6 years) in the 6th (n = 192), 8th (n = 283), and the 10th (n = 281) grades from Miami-Dade County, FL and Prince George's County, MD. Adolescents completed the NIAAA/AAP Brief Alcohol Use Screener, which consists of two items asking about adolescents’ alcohol use and about peers’ alcohol use during the last year. Peer-Risk is categorized into ‘No Peer-Risk’ versus ‘Heightened Concern’; Self-Risk is categorized into ‘No-Risk,’ ‘Low-Risk,’ ‘Moderate-Risk’ or ‘High-Risk,’ based on alcohol use patterns and age. Adolescents also completed measures of recent alcohol use and four previously validated screener instruments.

Results

Relative to the self-use ‘No-Risk’ category, adolescents classified into the ‘Low-,’ ‘Moderate-’ and ‘High-Risk’ categories reported progressively greater alcohol use and misuse during the last 90 days. Similar patterns were observed between the Peer-Risk categories. Combined, the two NIAAA/AAP screener items were positively related to recent alcohol use and outperformed the other screeners examined.

Conclusions

Results from the present study support the concurrent validity of the single and combined items of the NIAAA/AAP Brief Alcohol Use Screener, as well as the measure's favorable concurrent validity compared to four previously validated screener instruments.

Short Summary

The current results support the concurrent validity of the single and combined items of the NIAAA/AAP Brief Alcohol Use Screener, as well as the measure's favorable concurrent validity compared to four previously validated screener instruments, in a school-based sample of adolescents.

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