Former student publishes Transdiagnostic Addiction Assessment Measure

Dr. Meagan Carr, who was a practicum student at Tolan Park, and went on to complete Pre-doctoral and Post-doctoral Fellowships at Yale University, has published an important article based on her doctoral dissertation titled, Development and Validation of the Recognizing Addictive Disorders Scale, A Transdiagnostic Measure of Substance-Related and Other Addictive Disorders in the journal Substance Use and Misuse. The aim of this work was to develop and provide psychometrics for a new transdiagnostic screening measure that assesses for multiple substance and behavioral addictions including alcohol use, drug use, tobacco use, gambling, binge eating, hypersexuality/pornography use and excessive video gaming. Her work fills an important gap in the literature, and the abstract is presented below. During her time in the Wayne State lab, and under the supervision of Dr. David Ledgerwood and Dr. Leslie Lundahl, Dr.  Carr contributed to ongoing research efforts and served as a clinician at Tolan Park Research Clinic. She observed that many people receiving treatment experienced symptoms of more than one type of addiction. Along with collaborators, including Dr. Jennifer Ellis, Jaimie Page, and Joseph Urbiel, she also conducted a follow-up study testing the new measure with patients from Tolan Park. The findings are currently being written up for publication. We are excited for Dr. Carr’s accomplishment, and recognize the important contribution she brought to the development of the Nicotine and Tobacco Research Division.


Substance use disorders and behavioral addictions commonly co-occur. However, few available self-report measures reliably and validly assess the full range of addictive conditions. The development and initial validation of a new measure—Recognizing Addictive Disorders (RADs) scale addresses a significant gap in the literature. Method: After items were generated and evaluated in Study 1, Study 2 (N = 300), applied exploratory factor analysis to the item pool using an online-based community sample. In Study 3 (N = 427), the factor structure was validated using an independent online-based community sample and confirmatory factor analysis. Results: The scale demonstrated good internal consistency (a = .92) and construct validity, including replication of the factor structure (χ 2  (553) = 760.83, p < .001, CFI = .997, TLI = .997, RMSEA = .030) and correlation with a related transdiagnostic measure of addiction (r = .72). Discussion: Overall, results support the preliminary validity of a brief transdiagnostic measure of addiction that considers a diverse range of behaviors. For patients presenting to substance abuse treatment, this tool may be useful in identifying symptoms of other types of non-substance problems, which could ultimately aid in treatment planning.


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