Drinking Context Scale (DCS)

The Drinking Context Scale is a self-report measure of the likeliness of drinking excessively.  Testing is based on three factors – convivial circumstances, intimate circumstances, and coping with negative emotion.  A common use for the DCS is to predict the likelihood for young people to drink abusively in certain situations.

The scale includes 23 items which is the original version or the brief form which is only 9 items.  Approximately 5 to 10 minutes is required for completion, which can be done through an interview or with pencil-and-paper.

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Thomas O’Hare, Ph.D.

Obtaining the DCS

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Reliability and Validity

The reliability and validity reported for the DCS is respectable.  Internal consistency for Convivial Drinking, Negative coping, and Intimate Drinking were reported at 0.82, 0.85, and 0.81 respectively.  Concurrent validity is proven with DCS’s significant association with the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test and the College Alcohol Problem Scale for all three DCS subscales.

For More Information and Obtaining the DCS

Permission is required from the author

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Administration, Analysis and Reporting

Statistics Solutions consists of a team of professional methodologists and statisticians that can assist the student or professional researcher in administering the survey instrument, collecting the data, conducting the analyses and explaining the results.

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O’Hare, T. (2001) The Drinking Context Scale: a confirmatory analysis. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 20, 129-136.

O’Hare, T. (1998) Alcohol expectancies and excessive drinking contexts in young adults. Social Work Research, 22, 44-50.

O’Hare, T. & Sherrer, M.V. (1997) Drinking problems, alcohol expectancies and drinking contexts in college first offenders. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 43, 31-45.

Dissertations and Journals

John S. Baer (2002).  Student Factors:  Understanding Individual Variation in College Drinking.  J. Study. Alcohol, Supplement No. 14:  40-53.

Assessment of Youthful Problem Drinkers: Validating the Drinking Context Scale (DCS-9) Freshman First Offenders.  Research on Social Work Practice, 15 (2), pp. 110-117.

O’Hare, T. (1998).  Measuring excessive alcohol use in college drinking context:  The drinking context scale.  Addictive Behaviors, 22 (4), pp 469-477.