The Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (Adolescent Form) is designed to detect chemical dependence in youth 12 to 18. The author reports accuracy rates of between 80 and 90% compared to clinical diagnoses. In addition, guidelines for clinical interpretation of the subscales are widely used although no empirical validation has been done. This research investigated the validity of the instrument in two studies. Results showed that the SASSI effectively discriminated between an at-risk high school group and clients of a residential treatment center. However, agreement of SASSI classification with clinical diagnosis was only 62%, and Kappa coefficient confirmed the lack of strong agreement. Predictive validity of the clinical subscales was also examined. The Defensiveness (DEF) subscale was found to be a poor indicator of a diagnosis of depressive disorder, and the Correctional (COR) subscale score was not associated with a clinical diagnosis of conduct disorder or oppositional defiant disorder. The hypothesis that a SASSI "rule of thumb" could be used to predict a diagnosis of chemical abuse was not supported. Gender and ethnic differences were also analyzed.
- Substance Abuse
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health