College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Effects of Three Interview Factors on the Validity of Alcohol Abusers' Self-Reports

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1981

Keywords

Alcohol Drinking, Alcoholism, Psychological Interview, Life Change Events, Self Disclosure

Publication Title

American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

ISSN

0095-2990

Volume

8

Issue/No.

2

Abstract

Using 54 outpatient male court-referred alcohol abusers as subjects, this study investigated the effects of three different interview factors--interview setting (group vs individual), method of interview administration (self vs other), and question type (alcohol vs nonalcohol vs demographic)--on the validity of alcohol abusers' self-reports of verifiable life events. Overall, subjects gave relatively valid self-reports, and when answers were invalid they were more often overreported than underreported. Of the three question types, demographic questions were answered the most validly. The validity of subjects' answers was not differentially affected by whether they answered the questions themselves or were interviewed by an experimenter. While subjects who were interviewed individually gave significantly more valid responses to questions than subjects interviewed in a group setting, the difference (5%) was not great. Given that the overall validity rate was quite high for both groups, consideration must be given to whether it is worth the added time of interviewed subjects individually as compared to interviewing subjects in groups and settling for a slightly lower rate of validity.

DOI

10.3109/00952998108999127

ResearchID/ORCID ID

0000-0001-7705-3993

Peer Reviewed

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