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Journal Article


Chavarria J, Rueger SY, King AC. Alcohol Clin. Exp. Res. 2018; 42(6): 1122-1131.


Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.


(Copyright © 2018, John Wiley and Sons)






BACKGROUND: Alcohol hangovers have been found to be a common and costly consequence of alcohol misuse. However, there is only limited psychometric support for instruments to accurately measure hangovers beyond the college-age years. This study investigated the psychometric properties of the Hangover Symptom Scale (HSS) and the Hangover Symptom Scale-Short Form (HSS-5) including the internal consistency, convergent and discriminant validity, construct validity, and the measurement invariance of these scales between light and heavy drinkers, individuals with a positive and negative family history of alcohol use disorder (AUD), and men and women in a post-college-aged sample. The association of the HSS and HSS-5 with alcohol use problems was also tested.

METHODS: Participants were 294 nonalcoholic light and heavy social drinkers (age range 21 to 35 years; 57.8% male) enrolled in the Chicago Social Drinking Project. They completed the HSS as part of a take-home packet completed outside of the laboratory. The psychometric properties of the HSS and HSS-5 were tested.

RESULTS: Stronger psychometric support was found for the HSS-5 relative to the full HSS. While both measures demonstrated strong internal consistency reliability, convergent and discriminant validity, and an association with alcohol use problems, only the HSS-5 showed construct validity as determined by confirmatory factor analysis. Further, only the HSS-5 showed measurement invariance between men and women, light and heavy drinkers, and individuals with a positive and negative family history of AUD.

CONCLUSIONS: This was the first study to examine the psychometric properties of the HSS and HSS-5 in a post-college-aged sample and the first to investigate the measurement invariance of these measures as a function of sex, drinking history, and family history of AUD. This study supports the use of the HSS-5 as a reliable and valid brief measure of frequency of hangover symptoms.

Copyright © 2018 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

Language: en


Alcohol Use; Hangover; Hangover Symptom Scale; Post-College-Aged Drinkers


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