Psychology ETDs

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The resolution of ambivalence is an appealing explanation of how at-risk drinkers make changes in their alcohol consumption; however, limited research about this potential mechanism of change exists due to the lack of a specific measure of ambivalence about drinking less alcohol. An initial item pool measuring ambivalence was assessed in two different samples of at-risk drinkers, undergraduate college students participating in the study for research participation credit (N1 = 129) and participants recruited from online sources (N2 = 128) using an online web survey. Three different methods of measuring ambivalence were tested: a double-barreled items method, a difference score method calculated from the sum of items measuring both motivation to change as well as motivation to maintain the status quo, and an Emotion items method. Exploratory Factor Analyses (EFAs) revealed a single factor structure for all three scales, and internally-consistent scales were formed from a subset of well-performing items based on item-scale and factor analytic results. Convergent and discriminant validity correlations were also examined. This study introduces the Change, Ambivalence, Sustain, and Emotion Scales (CASES) for eventual use in investigating if the resolution of ambivalence is a mechanism of change in at-risk drinkers. Limitations and directions for future research are also discussed.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Tonigan, J. Scott

Second Committee Member

Moyers, Theresa

Third Committee Member

Selig, James




alcohol, ambivalence, motivation, measure, instrument development, motivational interviewing

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