Scale Development and Dimensionality Analysis of a Protective Behavioral Strategies Multi-item Scale for Use with College Student Drinkers
Boekeloo, Bradley O
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Protective behavioral strategies (PBS) have been defined as self-control behaviors individuals practice prior to, during, and/or after drinking to limit consumption and/or the negative consequences. Although a multi-item PBS measurement scale has been used in the research literature, the psychometrics, reliability, and validity of the PBS scale needed further examination. This study examined the 1) dimensionality of the PBS scale for self-identified college student drinkers as well as for gender and race/ethnicity subgroups, 2) internal consistency and test-retest reliability of the PBS sub-scales, and 3) construct validity of the PBS sub-scales. College students who self-reported as recent alcohol users (n=320) on a web-based survey administered during fall semester of the 2006 academic school year comprised the study sample. Factor analysis was utilized to determine the underlying factor structure of 22 item PBS scale. Additionally, congruence of the factor structure among gender and racial sub-groups was examined by rotating the sub-groups' matrices via the Procrustes orthogonal method. Reliability analysis was utilized to determine the internal consistency of the PBS sub-scales. Separate multiple linear regressions were performed to determine the construct validity based on relationships between the PBS sub-scales and potential motivations (refusal self-efficacy, protection self-efficacy, drunkenness avoidance self-efficacy, alcohol abstinence expectations) and potential alcohol-related outcomes (multiple alcohol use items, negative consequences) while controlling for gender and race. Examination of the output from repeated factor analyses, Procrustes rotation, and reliability analyses resulted in a 2-factor solution with 17 items. Both PBS sub-scales (Planning and Execution) had acceptable internal consistency across all samples and acceptable test-retest reliability. Construct validity of the Execution PBS was fully supported whereas the Planning PBS was partially supported. Specifically, the Planning PBS sub-scale was highly correlated with protection and drunkenness avoidance self-efficacy as projected but not alcohol-related outcomes. The Execution PBS sub-scale was highly correlated as projected with refusal, protection and drunkenness self-efficacy, alcohol use, and negative alcohol effects. Special attention was given in this study to PBS construct validity considering potential PBS motivations and PBS scale dimensionality across gender and race subgroups. This study contributes to parallel research attempting to identify a definitive, standardized measure of PBS.