Consistecy [sic] in reporting of lifetime alcohol use disorder diagnoses
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Previous research suggests a decline in the rate of lifetime alcohol use disorders (AUD) over time, indicating possible psychometric problems with this type of assessment. The consistency in reporting of lifetime AUDs was documented based on data collected from a cohort of young adults at high/low risk for alcoholism, originally ascertained as college students (N = 489 at baseline) at a large, public university and prospectively followed over 16-17 years. Four potential predictors of consistency in reporting (type of lifetime symptoms endorsed, number of lifetime symptoms endorsed, presence of a past-12-month diagnosis at "baseline", and prior consistency in reporting of a lifetime AUD) were used. Lifetime AUDs were assessed using DSM-III, III-R and IV criteria. Longer time intervals between assessments resulted in increased negative prevalence (one year interval = 24% vs. 17 year interval = 44%). Further, some predictors (e.g., type of symptoms endorsed and prior consistency in reporting) are associated with decreased rates of negative prevalence. Exploratory analyses investigating potential false negatives at baseline indicated the majority of ostensible new onsets at follow-up were truly false negatives at baseline (71% and 90% for AD and AUD, respectively). Overall, these findings suggest that conducting a prospective study with multiple assessments and shorter time intervals between assessments should increase the reliability of lifetime estimates of AUDs.
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