AN EXAMINATION OF YOUNG OFFENDERS SUBSTANCE USE IN A SAMPLE OF YOUTH FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES BY MEANS OF TWO SUBSTANCE USE PSYCHOMETRIC MEASURES
Takahashi, Yoshiko 1980-
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The incidence and patterns of substance use problems among the young offenders admitted to the Youth Forensic Psychiatric Services (YFPS) in British Columbia, Vancouver Island was examined. The convergent validity of the psychometric measures, Adolescent Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI-A2, Miller, 1994) and Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1991), and the criterion-related validity of these two measures with respect to scores of the substance abuse disorder subscale of the Adolescent Psychopathology Scale - Short Form (APS-SF, Reynolds, 1998) were also examined. The data were collected from 68 volunteered youth between the age of 13 and 18 years old. The study involved three methods of data collection: interview, questionnaire, and file review. Approximately 90% of the youth had consumed alcohol and drugs at least once in their lives, and the mean age of alcohol and drug first consumption was 12 years. The majority of youth acknowledged that they continued using alcohol and drugs since their involvement with YFPS. Youth who received some type of treatment did not show a greater reduction in alcohol and drug usage at post-admission than youth who did not receive treatment. Although age was positively correlated with alcohol and drug consumption, gender, IQ and academic achievement were not related to any of the substance use subscales. The convergent validity of the POSIT Substance Use/Abuse scale (POSIT A), the SASSI-A2 Face Valid Alcohol (FVA) and the SASSI-A2 Face Valid Drugs (FVOD) was demonstrated with a highly significant relationship between the two measures (POSIT and SASSI-A2). The criterion-related validity of the POSIT A and the SASSI-A2 (FVA and FVOD) was demonstrated with each having highly significant relationships with the APS-SF Substance Abuse Disorder subscale (APS-SF SUB). The SASSI-A2 FVA and the POSIT A were significantly related to self-reported pre-admission alcohol usage. The SASSI-A2 FVOD also significantly related to self-reported pre-admission drug usage. These findings indicated that substance use among young offenders was substantial and not effectively treated. The POSIT and the SASSI-A2 were effective tools for identifying substance abuse and dependence problems among young offender clients of YFPS.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeWormith, John S; Olver, Mark; Marche, Tammy
Copyright DateJune 2015
youth substance use
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