Validating a Hazardous Drinking Index in a Sample of Sexual Minority Women: Reliability, Validity, and Predictive Accuracy

Barth B. Riley*, Tonda L. Hughes, Sharon C. Wilsnack, Timothy P. Johnson, Perry Benson, Frances Aranda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Although sexual minority women (SMW) are at increased risk of hazardous drinking (HD), efforts to validate HD measures have yet to focus on this population. Objectives: Validation of a 13-item Hazardous Drinking Index (HDI) in a large sample of SMW. Methods: Data were from 700 adult SMW (age 18-82) enrolled in the Chicago Health and Life Experiences of Women study. Criterion measures included counts of depressive symptoms and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, average daily and 30-day ethanol consumption, risky sexual behavior, and Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) measures of alcohol abuse/dependence. Analyses included assessment of internal consistency, construction of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves to predict alcohol abuse/dependence, and correlations between HDI and criterion measures. We compared the psychometric properties (diagnostic accuracy and correlates of hazardous drinking) of the HDI to the commonly used CAGE instrument. Results: KR-20 reliability for the HDI was 0.80, compared to 0.74 for the CAGE. Predictive accuracy, as measured by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for alcohol abuse/dependence, was HDI: 0.89; CAGE: 0.84. The HDI evidenced the best predictive efficacy and tradeoff between sensitivity and specificity. Results supported the concurrent validity of the HDI measure. Conclusions: The Hazardous Drinking Index is a reliable and valid measure of hazardous drinking for sexual minority women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Hazardous drinking
  • alcohol abuse
  • alcohol dependence
  • sexual minority women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Validating a Hazardous Drinking Index in a Sample of Sexual Minority Women: Reliability, Validity, and Predictive Accuracy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this