Psychology ETDs


Samara Lloyd

Publication Date



Ambivalence about changing drinking is a theoretically and clinically significant construct in the treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence. The exploration and resolution of ambivalence is embedded in the stages of change model, and the reduction of ambivalence is theorized to be a mechanism of change in motivational interviewing. There has been little quantitative evidence in the literature to demonstrate the theoretical or clinical significance of ambivalence to date, owing to the lack of a quantitative, self-report measure specifically for ambivalence. Two experiments were conducted to aid in the development of a measure of ambivalence. Fifty-one undergraduates concerned about their drinking were administered the initial version of the instrument in Experiment 1. Experiment 1 pilot-tested two methods of measuring ambivalence, and explored the reliability, factor structure, and convergent validity of the measure. The analysis of the difference scores from the Change and Sustain items demonstrated their high reliability, resulted in an interpretable factor structure of cognitive and emotional ambivalence, and a strong relationship between the ambivalence score and the difference between Change and Counter-change talk statements elicited during therapy (r = .41, p < .01). Experiment 2 developed the construct validity of the instrument further by questioning 70 Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers about their perspectives on ambivalence, and their opinions about how well version 2 of the instrument measured ambivalence. The primary benefit of this survey was the improvement of the content validity of the measure by including more items about the emotional experience of ambivalence. Results also suggested additional improvements, insights into the nature of ambivalence and its relationship to other relevant constructs, and the clinical as well as research utility of the instrument.

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Level of Degree


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First Advisor

Delaney, Harold

First Committee Member (Chair)

Moyers, Theresa

Second Committee Member

Smith, Bruce




alcohol, measure, ambivalence

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