Taking an individualized approach to the assessment of self-efficacy and the prediction of alcoholic relapse

Kevin J. Miller, Barbara S. McCrady, David B. Abrams, Erich W. Labouvie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study reports on a clinical instrument designed for assessing self-efficacy in alcoholics. In contrast to studies that construct general measures, it was proposed that taking an individualized approach to assessment might offer an effective methodology. Thirty-four alcoholics in an outpatient, behaviorally oriented treatment program participated as subjects. During therapy, an Individualized Self-Efficacy Survey (ISS) was developed for each subject. The ISS was developed by (a) administering the Drinking Patterns Questionnaire (DPQ) to identify important problem areas (e.g., work, children, marital) and specific drinking antecedents and (b) constructing a 15-item scale using each drinker's most important cues. The utility of having clients choose their own items was supported by finding a significant relationship between problem areas identified as important on the DPQ and the areas reported as surrounding relapse. ISS ratings were reflective of efficacy changes during treatment, while posttreatment ISS scores were predictive of subsequent relapse. Situation-specific prediction of relapse was not found. The advantages of this methodology for clinical use are discussed, while general directions for future research are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-120
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • Drinking Pattern Questionnaire (DPQ)
  • Individualized Self-Efficacy Survey (ISS)
  • alcoholism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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