Examination of the Rutgers alcohol problem index : testing the unidimensional properties of the factor structure

UNCW Author/Contributor (non-UNCW co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Christopher David Goings (Creator)
The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW )
Web Site: http://library.uncw.edu/
Nora Noel

Abstract: As part of the Rutgers Health and Human Development Project, White & Labouvie (1989) developed and published the Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index (RAPI). They cited a need for a valid and reliable means of assessment of adolescents experiencing problem drinking patterns, and thus at risk for future alcohol use disorders. The twenty-three item measure was reported to screen accurately for adolescents that reported experiencing negative consequence of alcohol use and would benefit from further intervention. Since the time of the initial publication, the RAPI has become a common tool in both clinical and research settings. The acceptance of the RAPI as a unidimensional measure of negative consequence of alcohol use appears to have been relatively unchecked beyond the initial report. The lack of rigorous follow-up on the RAPI is disturbing in light of its wide use in adolescent, young adult and alcohol literature. The present study was designed to investigate the factor structure reported in the original paper, using a sample selected to remove variance associated with both age and gender. A sample comprised of college-aged males who have reported a history of alcohol use was targeted. Exploratory Factor Analyses with a subsequent Confirmatory Factor analysis were conducted on the 23-items or the RAPI. Additionally, a proposed nomenclature of factored items was discussed to support continued investigation of the psychometrics of the RAPI. Post-Hoc analysis were used to test alternative hypothesis of item responses between participants who reported experiencing no current and past alcohol use problems verses participants who did report current and past problems due to alcohol use. Difference testing of item responses was used to identify items which discriminate between those reporting no current or past problems and those that do report positive alcohol use problems. Discussion of the significance of items that were found to discriminate between types of drinkers and the usefulness of these items within the RAPI will be addressed.

Additional Information

A Thesis Submitted to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Masters of Arts
Language: English
Date: 2009
Teenagers--Alcohol use--United States, Drinking of alcoholic beverages--Research
Teenagers -- Alcohol use -- United States
Drinking of alcoholic beverages -- Research

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