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Validation of the Brief Biphasic Alcohol Effects Scale (B-BAES)


  • Sandra Y. Rueger,

    1. Department of Psychology , Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois
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  • Andrea C. King

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience , Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
    • Department of Psychology , Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois
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  • Presented in part at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism, Atlanta, Georgia, June 25–29.

Reprint requests: Andrea King, PhD, Department of Psychiatry (MC-3077), University of Chicago, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637; Tel.: 773-702-6181; Fax: 773-702-6454; E-mail:



The Biphasic Alcohol Effects Scale (BAES) is a reliable and valid 14-item measure of alcohol's acute stimulant and sedative effects, but its length may preclude use in research paradigms with time constraints on assessment. Here, we report further psychometric support for the 6-item Brief BAES (B-BAES) originally developed by our group in 2009.


Two studies are included: the first study tested the B-BAES in an independent sample of young adult heavy social drinkers administered 0.8 g/kg alcohol in a laboratory challenge study (N = 104) to confirm the reliability and validity of the 6-item B-BAES. The second study compared the predictive validity of the B-BAES versus the BAES in a separate sample of 104 heavy drinkers who took part in a prospective laboratory alcohol challenge and follow-up study of drinking behaviors.


An item analysis demonstrated strong support across several intervals on the breath alcohol curve for the same 6 B-BAES items (energized, excited, up, sedated, slow thoughts, sluggish). Confirmatory factor analysis with the B-BAES demonstrated strong support for the same underlying structure as with the full BAES, and tests of internal consistency reliability were very strong to excellent. B-BAES subscale scores correlated highly with corresponding scores of the BAES and predicted binge-drinking frequency during a 2-year follow-up.


These results provide strong psychometric support to confirm use of the B-BAES in studies assessing alcohol's stimulant and sedative properties. The B-BAES may be a useful new tool to enhance the scope of future research assessing alcohol's biphasic effects, particularly in paradigms when time and concise measurement are priorities.