Measurement properties of the DSMIV alcohol dependence and abuse criteria

A. J. Baillie, Maree Teesson, K. Richardson, Heather Proudfoot

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


    Purpose: To evaluate the measurement properties of the DSMIV Alcohol Dependence and Abuse Criteria. Two studies are described i) a confirmatory factor analysis of diagnostic criteria from a population sample and ii) a meta-analysis of published literature examining the factor structure of the criteria. Methods: Data from alcohol drinkers (n57746) were obtained from a cross-sectional study of a large, representative sample of the Australian general population. One and two-factor solutions for the DSM-IV criteria for abuse and dependence (assessed by CIDI-Auto) were compared using confirmatory factor analysis. Published literature was collected from searches of Medline and Psycinfo and from the reference lists of relevant publications. Information was extracted from published reports and subjected to meta-analysis. Results: Overall 6% met criteria for an alcohol use disorder (1.9% abuse, 4.1 % dependence). Both one- and two-factor solutions from the confirmatory factor analyses provided an adequate fit to the data for the overall sample. The correlation between separate abuse and dependence factors in the two-factor model was extremely high (0.95) indicating that a single factor was the most parsimonious. Drinking in larger amounts or for longer periods than required, spending a great deal of time obtaining, drinking or recovering from the effects of alcohol, and a reduction in important social, occupational or recreational activities because of drinking were the criteria most strongly related to the underlying dimension, however larger, tolerance, and persistent desire, or unsuccessful efforts to cut down provided more information around the diagnostic threshold. This finding is consistent with results of metaanalysis of similar published research. Conclusion: Alcohol abuse and dependence criteria were most parsimoniously described by a single continuous construct incorporating all eleven abuse and dependence criteria. Suggestions for the revision of the criteria are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)160A
    Number of pages1
    JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
    Issue numberSuppl. 1
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    EventAnnual Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (29th : 2006) - Baltimore
    Duration: 23 Jun 200629 Jun 2006


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