Title

The Latent Structure of Alcohol Use Pathology In an Epidemiological Sample

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-1-2011

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Whether alcohol use pathology is more accurately conceptualized as a categorical construct, or as existing along a dimension remains an open question. Previous investigations of the latent structure of alcohol use pathology have yielded mixed results. The present study used a sample (N = 43,093) drawn from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. A factor analysis of items drawn from the Alcohol Consumption, Alcohol Abuse/Dependence (Alcohol Experiences), and Alcohol Treatment Utilization sections of the NESARC yielded three factors, labeled Functional Disturbance, Tolerance, and Frequency, which were used as indicators in a series of taxometric analyses. These analyses converged on a low base rate alcohol pathology taxon. The relevance of these findings for the diagnosis, etiology, further research, and treatment of alcohol use disorders is discussed. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Journal of Psychiatric Research

Volume

45

Issue

2

First Page

225

Last Page

233