An Assessment of the Validity and Reliability of the SOGS-RA
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The present is a validation study seeking to determine the degree of confidence that can be placed on inferences about problem gambling among adolescents in the Atlantic provinces, based on their South Oaks Gambling Screen-Revised for Adolescents (SOGS-RA) scores. The major source of data was a 1998 survey of 13,549 students in junior and high school of the public school systems of the 4 Atlantic provinces of Canada. The SOGS-RA was found to have adequate stability and internal consistency reliability. Statistically significant gender differences were demonstrated relative to endorsement and construct validity. Regarding the latter, this study shows that the existing cut-point of the SOGS-RA score for problem gambling identifies as problem gamblers, markedly different proportions of male than female daily gamblers. Regarding construct validity in relation to the Atlantic Alcohol and Drug Risk Continua, this study suggests that while statistically highly significant, the association between problem gambling and substance-related problems may be of low clinical significance. Regarding criterion validity, there is an urgent need to perform the types of enquiry that will allow clarification about how adolescent problem gambling is conceptualized, by adults versus adolescents, by males versus females, and from a clinical versus a public or population health perspective.
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