Confirming Eight-Factor Structure of the Substance Use Motives Measure in a Sample of US College Students

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The 2020 National Survey on Drug Use indicates nearly three quarters of individuals ages 18-25 have used substances in the past year. Research suggests individuals who use substances to cope with negative mood states are typically more substance-involved, report more psychological distress, and have a more extensive treatment history. Additionally, the high rate of polysubstance use among substance using adults in the U.S. highlights the need for broadband measures that can adequately capture use, consequences, and motivations for use of multiple substances. However, most measures assessing motives for use are typically substance specific. Recently, Biolcati and Passini (2019) developed a brief, but comprehensive model of broad substance use motives (i.e., Substance Use Motives Measure, SUMM) based on well-established motives questionnaires (e.g., DMQ-R, MMQ). They found support for their proposed eight-factor model in an online sample of Italian citizens (ages 18–60). No studies to date have examined the psychometric properties of the SUMM with an English-speaking or US college student sample. The current study evaluates the factor structure of the SUMM in a sample of 143 college students (74.8% female, 77.6% White, and 94.4% non-Hispanic/Latinx) at a large, southeastern university in the United States. Results of a confirmatory factor analysis showed support for the previously identified eight-factor structure for the SUMM, with acceptable model fit and internal consistency of each factor found. Findings support using the SUMM as a broad measure of substance use motives, but more research is needed to assess measurement invariance across different groups and to evaluate external, concurrent, and convergent validity using other well-established measures of substance use motives, severity, and psychiatric symptomatology.

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Psychological Reports

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