This study describes the development and validation of a decisional balance scale for marijuana use in young adults. Scale development was accomplished in four phases. First, 53 participants (70% female, 68% freshman) provided qualitative data that yielded content for an initial set of 47 items. In the second phase, an exploratory factor analysis on the responses of 260 participants (52% female, 68% freshman) revealed two factors, corresponding to pros and cons. Items that did not load well on the factors were omitted, resulting in a reduced set of 36 items. In the third phase, 182 participants (49% female, 37% freshmen) completed the revised scale and an evaluation of factor structure led to scale revisions and model respecification to create a good-fitting model. The final scales consisted of 8 pros (Î± = 0.91) and 16 cons (Î± = 0.93), and showed evidence of validity. In the fourth phase (N = 248, 66% female, 70% freshman), we confirmed the factor structure, and provided further evidence for reliability and validity. The Marijuana Decisional Balance Scale enhances our ability to study motivational factors associated with marijuana use among young adults.
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