The eleven-item alcohol, smoking and substance involvement screening test (ASSIST-11): Cross-cultural psychometric evaluation across 42 countries

Sungkyunkwan University's Research Team

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The Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) is an instrument to screen substance-use-related health risks. However, little is known whether the ASSIST could be further shortened while remaining psychometrically sound across different countries, languages, gender identities, and sexual-orientation-based groups. The study aimed to validate a shortened 11-item ASSIST (ASSIST-11). Using the International Sex Survey data, 82,243 participants (M age = 32.39 years) across 42 countries and 26 languages completed questions from the ASSIST-11 regarding gender identity, sexual orientation, and other information. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and multigroup CFA (MGCFA) evaluated the ASSIST-11's structure and tested measurement invariance across groups. Cronbach's α and McDonald's ω were used to examine the internal consistency. Cohen's d and independent t-tests were used to examine known-group validity. The ASSIST-11 was unidimensional across countries, languages, age groups, gender identities (i.e., men, women, and gender-diverse individuals), and sexual orientations (i.e., heterosexual and sexual minority individuals). Cronbach's α was 0.63 and McDonald's ω was 0.68 for the ASSIST-11. Known-group validity was supported by Cohen's d (range between 0.23 and 0.40) with significant differences (p-values<0.001). The ASSIST-11 is a modified instrument with a unidimensional factor structure across different languages, age groups, countries, gender identities, and sexual orientations. The low internal consistency of the ASSIST-11 might be acceptable as it assesses a broad concept (i.e., use of several different substances). Healthcare providers and researchers may use the ASSIST-11 to quickly assess substance-use information from general populations and evaluate the need to follow up with more detailed questions about substance use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-27
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Early online date6 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2023


  • Addictive behaviors
  • Cross-cultural study
  • Factor structure
  • Measurement invariance
  • Psychometrics


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