Paschall, M. J.
; Ringwalt, C. L.
; and Gitelman, A. M. American Journal of Preventive Medicine
, vol. 39, pgs. 179-183 (2010)Background: State survey- based estimates of binge drinking may be useful for estimating the need for alcohol prevention and treatment services and for evaluating the effects of state alcohol control policies. However, as a result of declining survey response rates, there is growing concern about the validity of state survey estimates of binge drinking. Purpose: This study aims to examine the construct validity of state survey-based prevalence estimates of binge drinking.
Methods: State prevalence estimates of binge drinking in the past 30 days for 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007 were obtained from published reports or public use data for the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, and Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Construct validity was assessed in 2009 by examining correlations between these survey estimates and, for corresponding years, state per capita alcohol consumption levels (based on sales data for beer, wine, and spirits) and the percentage of drivers in fatal motor-vehicle crashes with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08.
Results: Eighty-eight percent of the correlations between state survey- based binge drinking estimates and per capita alcohol sales data were significant and moderate to strong (r >= 0.30, range=0.16-0.60). Similarly, 86% of the state survey binge drinking estimates were moderately or strongly correlated with the percentage of drivers in fatal crashes with blood alcohol concentration >= 0.08 (range=0.11-0.60).
Conclusions: Results suggest that state survey-based estimates of binge drinking have construct validity and therefore can be used to investigate relationships between state alcohol policies and other state characteristics and the prevalence of this behavior. (Am J Prey Med 2010;39(2):179-183) (C) 2010 American Journal of Preventive Medicine