Development of Brief Alcohol and Cannabis Motives Measures: Psychometric Evaluation Using Expert Feedback and Longitudinal Methods


  • Sara Bartel Dalhousie University
  • Simon Sherry Dalhousie University
  • Ioan Mahu Dalhousie University
  • Sherry Stewart Dalhousie University


Objective: Alcohol and cannabis use motives are often studied as contributors to risky substance use patterns. While various measures for capturing such motives exist, most contain 20+ items, which render their inclusion in certain research designs (e.g., daily diary) or with certain populations (e.g., polysubstance users) unfeasible. We sought to generate and validate six-item measures of cannabis and alcohol motives from existing measures, the Marijuana Motives Measure (MMM) and the Modified Drinking Motives Questionnaire-Revised (MDMQ-R). Methods: In Study 1, items were generated, feedback from 33 content-domain experts was obtained, and item revisions were made. In Study 2, the finalized brief cannabis and alcohol motives measures, along with the MMM, MDMQ-R, and substance-related measures, were administered to 176 emerging adult cannabis and alcohol users (71.6% female) at two timepoints, two months apart. Participants were recruited through a participant pool. Results: Study 1 experts indicated satisfactory ratings of face and content validity. Expert feedback was used to revise three items. Study 2 results suggest test-retest reliabilities for the single-item forms (r = .34 to .60) were similar to those obtained with full motives measures (r = .39 to .67). Validity was acceptable-to-excellent in that brief and full-length measures were significantly intercorrelated (r = .40 to .83). The brief and full-length measures had similar concurrent and predictive relationships for cannabis and alcohol quantity x frequency (coping-with-anxiety for cannabis and enhancement for alcohol) and problems (coping-with-depression), respectively. Conclusions: The brief measures represent psychometrically-sound measures of cannabis and alcohol use motives with substantially less participant burden than the MMM and MDMQ-R.


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