The alcohol use questionnaire (variable name prefix ALQ) focuses on lifetime and current use (past 12 months). Questions are not specific to type of alcohol used.
Participants aged 12 years and older were eligible. Only data from participants aged 18 years and older are included in this data file.
Interview Setting and Mode of Administration
The Alcohol Use questionnaire is administered at the Mobile Examination Center (MEC) during the MEC Interview. For adults 20 years and older, questions were asked by trained interviewers using the Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) system. For Youths 12-19 years, questions were self-administered using the Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing (ACASI) system.
Mentally impaired individuals or participants who were unable to understand English or Spanish were not asked these questions.
Quality Assurance & Quality Control
The CAPI system is programmed with built-in consistency checks to reduce data entry errors. CAPI also uses online help screens to assist interviewers in defining key terms used in the questionnaire.
The ACASI was conducted in either English or Spanish. The ACASI enables respondents both to hear questions through earphones and read questions on the computer screen. Respondents move at their own speed and touch the screen to indicate their response. No proxy respondents or translators were used in situations when the respondents could not self-report. The system was programmed to alert respondents of potential data entry errors or problems. When a response was entered, that had been programmed as unlikely, respondents were allowed to proceed after confirming that their entry was correct. When a response was entered that had been programmed as an error, respondents were prohibited from continuing with the ACASI until the error was corrected.
Data Processing and Editing
The data were edited for completeness, consistency, and illogical values.
Please refer to the NHANES Analytic Guidelines and the on-line NHANES Tutorial for further details on the use of sample weights and other analytic issues.
Information on alcohol use is collected from all participants aged 12 years and older. Only data from participants aged 18 years and older are included in this data file. A special use data file for participants 12-17 years, ALQ_G_R, is available through the NCHS Research Data Center (RDC).