Journal of behavioral assessment

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 315–326

Test-retest reliability of retrospective self-reports in three populations of alcohol abusers

  • Stephen A. Maisto
  • Mark B. Sobell
  • A. Mitch Cooper
  • Linda C. Sobell

DOI: 10.1007/BF01321373

Cite this article as:
Maisto, S.A., Sobell, M.B., Cooper, A.M. et al. Journal of Behavioral Assessment (1979) 1: 315. doi:10.1007/BF01321373


The reliability of alcohol abusers' retrospective self-reports was evaluated using a time-line follow-back interview technique. Independent groups of male subjects were interviewed in three different treatment settings (outpatient,n=12; inpatient,n=12; residential,n=12) on two separate occasions to assess the test-retest reliability of their self-reports of daily drinking and related events occurring 1 year prior to treatment. Correlational and scatterplot analyses generally showed a high correlation and low discrepancy between the two sets of interview responses for all groups. However, since some population differences were found in the reliability of reports for some variables, further research is needed to delineate the conditions under which reliable and valid retrospective self-reports can be obtained from different populations of alcohol abusers.

Key words

alcohol abusersself-reportsreliabilitymultiple populations

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen A. Maisto
    • 1
  • Mark B. Sobell
    • 2
  • A. Mitch Cooper
    • 3
  • Linda C. Sobell
    • 4
  1. 1.Research Triangle InstituteResearch Triangle Park
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyVanderbilt UniversityNashville
  3. 3.Community Mental Health Center of Escambia CountyPensacola
  4. 4.Dede Wallace Center and Department of PsychologyVanderbilt UniversityNashville