Reliability, validity, and classification accuracy of a measure of DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to measure the reliability, validity, and classification accuracy of the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling. METHOD: Participants in this study were drawn from two sources: 803 men and women from the general adult population of Minnesota and 259 men and women who were admitted to a gambling treatment program. A 19-item measure of the DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling was administered, along with other validity measures. RESULTS: The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria were found to be reliable and valid. With a standard cutoff score of 5, DSM-IV criteria yielded satisfactory classification accuracy results; however, a cutoff score of 4 made modest improvements in classification accuracy and, most important, reduced the rate of false negatives. CONCLUSIONS: The DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling, when operationalized into questions, demonstrated satisfactory reliability, validity, and classification accuracy, and a cutoff score of 4 improved diagnostic precision.

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