Further Validation of the Adolescent Form of the SASSI

Sheri Bauman, Rod Merta, Robert Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-71
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


  • Adolescents
  • Dependents
  • Substance Abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Psychology(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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