Methodology and Demographics of a Brief Adolescent Alcohol Screen Validation Study

Julie R. Bromberg*, Anthony Spirito, Thomas Chun, Michael J. Mello, T. Charles Casper, Fahd Ahmad, Lalit Bajaj, Kathleen M. Brown, Lauren S. Chernick, Daniel M. Cohen, Joel Fein, Tim Horeczko, Michael N. Levas, Brett McAninch, Michael Monuteaux, Colette C. Mull, Jackie Grupp-Phelan, Elizabeth C. Powell, Alexander Rogers, Rohit P. ShenoiBrian Suffoletto, Cheryl Vance, James G. Linakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective The aim of this study was to determine the psychometric properties of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) 2-question alcohol screen within 16 Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network pediatric emergency departments. This article describes the study methodology, sample characteristics, and baseline outcomes of the NIAAA 2-question screen. Methods Participants included 12- to 17-year-olds treated in one of the participating pediatric emergency departments across the United States. After enrollment, a criterion assessment battery including the NIAAA 2-question screen and other measures of alcohol, drug use, and risk behavior was self-administered by participants on a tablet computer. Two subsamples were derived from the sample. The first subsample was readministered the NIAAA 2-question screen 1 week after their initial visit to assess test-retest reliability. The second subsample is being reassessed at 12 and 24 months to examine predictive validity of the NIAAA 2-question screen. Results There were 4834 participants enrolled into the study who completed baseline assessments. Participants were equally distributed across sex and age. Forty-six percent of the participants identified as white, and 26% identified as black. Approximately one quarter identified as Hispanic. Using the NIAAA 2-question screen algorithm, approximately 8% were classified as low risk, 12% were classified as moderate risk, and 4% were classified as highest risk. Alcohol use was less likely to be reported by black participants, non-Hispanic participants, and those younger than 16 years. Discussion This study successfully recruited a large, demographically diverse sample to establish rates of the NIAAA screen risk categories across age, sex, ethnicity, and race within pediatric emergency departments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)737-744
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric emergency care
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • adolescent
  • alcohol screening
  • brief intervention
  • referral to treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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