Walters, Glenn D. (2015). The latent structure of alcohol misuse in young adults: Do taxometric results differ as a function of prior criminal history?. Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
vol. 157 pp. 90-98
Background The purpose of this study was to determine whether the latent structure of alcohol misuse is categorical or continuous in male and female adults with and without a history of prior criminal offending. Methods Data from 3452 (1530 male, 1922 female) 27-to-32 year old members of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) were subjected to taxometric analysis using three nonredundant taxometric procedures—mean above minus below a cut (MAMBAC), maximum covariance (MAXCOV), and latent mode factor analysis (L-Mode). Results Analyses produced results consistent with categorical latent structure in males with a previous history of criminal offending but not in males without a previous history of criminal offending or females with or without a history of criminal offending. The findings from the other groups were indeterminate for the most part (i.e., neither categorical nor continuous). The presumptive taxon was validated by testing differences in age of onset and frequency of criminal arrest and drunkenness between the putative taxon and the upper portion of the complement. As predicted, all four validation outcomes were significantly worse in the taxon group. Conclusions On the basis of these results it is concluded that alcohol misuse in young adults may have features of both categorical and continuous latent structure and that the categorical aspects are more prominent in males with a history of offending behavior. Additional research is required to determine which aspects and features of alcohol misuse are categorical and which aspects and features are continuous.
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Walters, Glenn D.