Differences in subjective response to alcohol by gender, family history, heavy episodic drinking, and cigarette use: Refining and broadening the scope of measurement

Meghan E. Morean, William Corbin, Teresa A. Treat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Subjective response to alcohol (SR) has been shown to differ by gender, family history of alcoholism, drinking status, and cigarette smoking status. However, the requisite statistical basis for making mean-level comparisons (scalar measurement invariance; MI) has not been established for any SR measure, making it impossible to determine whether observed differences reflect true differences or measurement bias. Secondary data analyses were conducted to evaluate (a) MI of the Subjective Effects of Alcohol Scale (SEAS) by gender, family history, heavy drinking status, and cigarette smoking status using multigroup confirmatory factor analysis; and (b) the impact of these group-level variables on SR using multivariate general linear modeling. A central strength, the SEAS assesses novel high arousal negative (HIGH−; e.g., aggressive) and low arousal positive effects (LOW+; e.g., relaxed) in addition to commonly assessed high arousal positive [HIGH+; e.g., sociable] and low arousal negative effects [LOW−; e.g., woozy]). Method: A total of 215 young adults reported on SR during a placebo-controlled alcohol administration study in a simulated bar setting (target blood alcohol concentration = .08%). Results: Scalar MI was achieved for each group. After consuming alcohol, family history– positive individuals reported stronger HIGH− effects and female smokers reported weaker LOW+ effects than their counterparts. Heavy episodic drinkers and family history–positive females reported weaker LOW− effects than their counterparts. Conclusions: The SEAS permits meaningful SR comparisons within several important groups. SR differences largely were observed on the novel SEAS subscales, highlighting the importance of assessing a full range of SR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-295
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of studies on alcohol and drugs
Volume76
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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