college students, substance use disorders, alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, Addiction Acknowledgment Scale (AAS), Addiction Potential Scale (APS), Modified-Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (M-MAST), Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI)
The purpose of the study was to explore a currently existing diagnostic structure at a university counseling center located in the midwest to determine the most effective protocol for diagnosing substance use disorders in a college student population.
One hundred eighty-six client files from a state-accredited alcohol and drug counseling agency at a small university in the midwest were included in the study. A file consisted of a clinical interview and completed scores on the Addiction Acknowledgment Scale (AAS), Addiction Potential Scale (APS) , Modified-Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (M-MAST), at least one of the three Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI) forms, and a DSM-III-R diagnosis made by a certified chemical dependency counselor. The predictor variables were the total scores and subscale scores of the six assessment instruments. The criterion variables were the DSM-III-R diagnostic classifications of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. The study utilized multivariate analysis of variance and multivariate correlational methods. A discriminant function analysis was completed to determine the effectiveness of the instruments to correctly classify substance use disorders.
The MANOVA results indicated statistically significant differences between the mean scores of the M-MAST, AAS, APS, and the three SASSI forms for those clients diagnosed with alcohol abuse or alcohol dependence. The discriminant function analysis indicated the M-MAST, AAS, Adolescent SASSI, Adult SASSI, and SASSI-2 to correctly classify over 75% of the study sample. The APS correctly classified the lowest percentage of the study sample. The linear combination of the M-MAST, AAS, APS, and Adolescent SASSI correctly classified the highest percentage of grouped cases as compared to the other linear combinations.
Instrument scores on the M-MAST, AAS, Adult SASSI, and Adolescent SASSI were significantly related to the diagnoses of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence as indicated by the MANOVA results. Differences were found among the six assessment instruments in correctly classifying the diagnostic classifications of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence among the study sample. The results indicate that counseling centers might consider using only the M-MAST, AAS, and Adolescent SASSI and excluding the APS from their assessment protocol. Also, the SASSI-2 results must be interpreted with caution based on a limited sample size.
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Christians, M. (1996). Comparison of Several Substance Use Assessment Instruments and the Clinical Interview in the Diagnosis of Substance Use Disorders. Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.dordt.edu/faculty_work/196