Do response options influence self-reports of alcohol use?

Ron D. Hays, Robert M. Bell, Teresa Damush, Laural Hill, M. Robin Dimatteo, Grant N. Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The influence of response options on self-reported frequency of alcohol use was evaluated in an experimental study of 350 students at a west coast university. Respondents were asked about their frequency of alcohol use in the last 7 days, 30 days, 90 days, and 180 days with three methodological factors randomized: 1) how quantitative the response options were; 2) order of presentation of close-ended response options; and 3) relative placement of alcohol use items in the questionnaire. Results indicate that the quantitativeness of response options and the location of items within the questionnaire have minimal effects on the average frequency of alcohol use and number of inconsistent responses over a wide range of time frames. However, presenting higher frequency response options prior to lower frequency response options increased self-reported frequency of having consumed 2 or more drinks in the last 30 days and frequency of alcohol use over the last 180 days.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1909-1920
Number of pages12
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol use self-reports
  • Methodological effects
  • Questionnaire design
  • Response options

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Do response options influence self-reports of alcohol use?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this