Psychology of Addictive Behaviors
The purpose of the present studies was to examine the effects of response scale on the observed relationships between protective behavioral strategies (PBS) measures and alcohol-related outcomes. We reasoned that an "absolute frequency" scale (stem: "how many times..."; response scale: 0 times to 11 + times) conflates the frequency of using PBS with the frequency of consuming alcohol; thus, we hypothesized that the use of an absolute frequency response scale would result in positive relationships between types of PBS and alcohol-related outcomes. Alternatively, a "contingent frequency" scale (stem: "When drinking ... how often ..."; response scale: never to always) does not conflate frequency of alcohol use with use of PBS; therefore, we hypothesized that use of a contingent frequency scale would result in negative relationships between use of PBS and alcohol-related outcomes. Two published measures of PBS were used across studies: the Protective Behavioral Strategies Survey (PBSS) and the Strategy Questionnaire (SQ). Across three studies, we demonstrate that when measured using a contingent frequency response scale, PBS measures relate negatively to alcohol-related outcomes in a theoretically consistent manner; however, when PBS measures were measured on an absolute frequency response scale, they were nonsignificantly or positively related to alcohol-related outcomes. We discuss the implications of these findings for the assessment of PBS.
Original Publication Citation
Kite, B. A., Pearson, M. R., & Henson, J. M. (2013). The assessment of protective behavioral strategies: comparing the absolute frequency and contingent frequency response scales. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 27(4), 1010-1018. doi:10.1037/a0031366
Kite, Benjamin A.; Pearson, Matthew R.; and Henson, James M., "The Assessment of Protective Behavioral Strategies: Comparing the Absolute Frequency and Contingent Frequency Response Scales" (2013). Psychology Faculty Publications. 47.