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Journal Article Critique #1


September 1, 2016
Slade, T., Grove, R., and Teesson, M. (2009). A taxometric study of alcohol abuse and
dependence in a general population sample: evidence of dimensional latent structure and
implications for DSM-V. Addiction, 104, 742-751.
Article Critique of A taxometric study of alcohol abuse and dependence in a general
population sample: evidence of dimensional latent structure and implications for DSM-V
Summary
The study A taxometric study of alcohol abuse and dependence in a general population
sample: evidence of dimensional latent structure and implications for DSM-V by Slade, Grove,
and Teesson (2009) examined two distinct alcohol disorders- alcohol dependence and alcohol
abuse. The aim of the study was to determine if alcohol dependence and abuse should be
conceptualized as a single latent dimension or as a distant latent category. It was hypothesized
that the problems associated with alcohol use disorders could gain a greater understanding if the
disorder was dimensional conceptualized.
Several studies were cited in reference to the other disorders similar to the alcohol use
disorder study. The usage of data from different studies has proven bases but not enough
information in regards to alcohol abuse usage in taxometric studies. Denson & Earleywine study
on cannabis dependence offer evidence of dimensionality in its data collected from the
population used in its survey. In the study by Ginestat, Mitchell & Wellman, its data offered a

latent dimension explanation on nicotine dependence platform. Either study was related directly
to alcohol use disorder but did offer some information on the direction.
Researchers in the study used data from the Australian National Survey of Mental Health
and Wellbeing (NSMHWB), the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), and a
household survey collected from a face-to-face interview. The data collection was obtained from
participated who has had a drink at least 12 times in the past year an those who has drunk at least
three drinks in a single day. The data was used along with the taxometric analysis to gain an
understanding of the relationship between those who has had at least 12 drinks in one year to
those who has had three or more drinks in one day.
Two methods used Maximum Eigenvalue (MAXEIG) and mean above minus below a cut
(MAMBAC). The usage of both methods was to determine if the data collected from participates
were either categorical or dimensional latent structure in regards to alcohol abuse and alcohol
dependence. The results from these methods determined alcohol dependence to be single latent
dimensional and alcohol abuse being inconclusive.
The next question if there is an agreement with the Slade et al findings. The aim of the
study was to determine if alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence is more effective as a latent
dimension or a latent category. Through the method the researchers used they determined
alcohol dependence would be more effective as a latent dimension and alcohol abuse needs to be
furthered studied to determined if is should be latent dimension or latent category.
The study presented some limitations in those who participated in the study. The study
only used certain questions defined by the CIDI, which are defined based on the alcohol use
disorder not as alcohol abuse or dependence separate. In the interview, there is limited number

of questions on other factors to determine if alcohol dependence and/or abuse are learned
behaviors or could it be a genetic indicator. These types of questions could have allowed for
more evidence on how a person who is alcohol dependence or alcohol abuse could be treated.
The study successfully proved alcohol abuse and dependence is not a single latent category but a
single latent dimensions.