Background/Aims: Only rather few data on the validity of screening questionnaires to detect problem drinking in adolescents exist. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), its short form AUDIT-C, the Substance Module of the Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT), and CRAFFT (acronym for car, relax, alone, forget, family, and friends). Methods: The questionnaires were filled in by 9th and 10th graders from two comprehensive schools. All students received an interview using the alcohol section of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence according to DSM-IV as well as episodic heavy drinking served as criteria to validate the screening instruments. Results: All 9th and 10th graders (n = 225) of both schools participated. No significant differences were found for areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves ranging from 0.810 to 0.872. Cronbach’s alpha was satisfactory (0.77–0.80) but poor for CRAFFT (0.64). Different cut-offs are discussed. Conclusions: Considering validity as well as reliability, AUDIT, AUDIT-C and POSIT performed well; however, the POSIT is quite lengthy. AUDIT-C showed good psychometric properties and has clear advantages because of its brevity.

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