The Comprehensive Early Drinking History Form: A Novel Measure of Early Alcohol Exposure

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Background: Adolescent and young adult alcohol use is a major public health concern; alcohol is the most widely used substance by teenagers. It is imperative to better understand alcohol use during adolescence and early adulthood given the important changes that occur. Although numerous measures aim to capture alcohol use during this time, no existing measure gathers comprehensive information on alcohol use across these developmental stages. We developed the Comprehensive Early Drinking History Form (CEDHF), which retrospectively gathers drinking information for each year since onset of first regular use, including quantity/frequency of both regular use and periods of heaviest drinking. The CEDHF also collects information on aggregate drinking experiences between age of onset and age of first regular use. Methods: Using a sample of young adults (ages 21 to 27) from an ongoing longitudinal study, we examined whether the CEDHF predicted both concurrent (N = 303) and future (N = 75) alcohol-related problems over and above other commonly used alcohol use measures (e.g., age of onset, age of first intoxication, Timeline Follow-Back) and current alcohol problems. Results: Controlling for gender, age, and current problems, the CEDHF predicted both concurrent and future alcohol-related problems over and above these other widely used measures of alcohol exposure. Conclusions: The CEDHF may be a valuable tool when longitudinal studies are not feasible as it provides more comprehensive information than other widely used measures of early alcohol exposure. Further, this measure can provide detailed information regarding who is at highest risk for future consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Adolescence
  • Alcohol Exposure
  • Comprehensive
  • Drinking History
  • Psychometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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