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Keywords:

  • SMAST;
  • Reliability;
  • Validity;
  • Children of Alcoholics;
  • Family History Method

In previous research adapted versions of the Short Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (SMAST) have been employed to assess an individual's father's (F-SMAST) and mother's alcohol abuse (M-SMAST). However, to date psychometric information on these forms has been limited. In order to more broadly assess the psychometric properties of these forms, several critical issues in five related studies were addressed. The samples for the five studies were drawn from a college population at a large midwestern university. Overall, the reliability and validity of the adapted SMASTs appears to be quite good. The F-SMAST demonstrated high reliability (from the standpoint of internal consistency, temporal stability, and reliability across siblings) as well as validity (both in respect to convergence with an interview measure and with father's own report on a parallel instrument). Furthermore, shortening both of these instruments to nine-item versions appears to improve their reliability and validity. For researchers and clinicians interested in assessing parental history of alcoholism, the F-SMAST and M-SMAST would appear to be a reliable and valid paper-and-pencil measure.