Psychometric Properties of the Adolescent Reinforcement Survey Schedule-Alcohol Use Version with College Student Drinkers

Kevin A. Hallgren, Brenna L. Greenfield, Benjamin O. Ladd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Behavioral economic theories of drinking posit that the reinforcing value of engaging in activities with versus without alcohol influences drinking behavior. Measures of the reinforcement value of drugs and alcohol have been used in previous research, but little work has examined the psychometric properties of these measures. Objectives: The present study aims to evaluate the factor structure, test–retest reliability, and concurrent validity of an alcohol-only version of the Adolescent Reinforcement Survey Schedule (ARSS-AUV). Methods: A sample of 157 college student drinkers completed the ARSS-AUV at two time points 2–3 days apart. Test–retest reliability, hierarchical factor analysis, and correlations with other drinking measures were examined. Results: Single, unidimensional general factors accounted for a majority of the variance in alcohol and alcohol-free reinforcement items. Residual factors emerged that typically represented alcohol or alcohol-free reinforcement while doing activities with friends, romantic or sexual partners, and family members. Individual ARSS-AUV items had fair-to-good test–retest reliability, while general and residual factors had excellent test–retest reliability. General alcohol reinforcement and alcohol reinforcement from friends and romantic partners were positively correlated with past-year alcohol consumption, heaviest drinking episode, and alcohol-related negative consequences. Alcohol-free reinforcement indices were unrelated to alcohol use or consequences. Conclusions/Importance: The ARSS-AUV appears to demonstrate good reliability and mixed concurrent validity among college student drinkers. The instrument may provide useful information about alcohol reinforcement from various activities and people and could provide clinically-relevant information for prevention and treatment programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)812-822
Number of pages11
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jun 6 2016

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © Taylor & Francis.


  • Alcohol reinforcement
  • behavioral economics
  • college drinking
  • psychometrics
  • social environment


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