Screening for "Substance Abuse" among School-Based Youth in Mexico Using the Problem Oriented Screening Instrument (POSIT) for Teenagers

William W. Latimer, Megan S. O'Brien, Jorge McDouall, Olga Toussova, Leah J. Floyd, Marco Vazquez

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Indices of classification accuracy of the Substance Use/Abuse scale of a Spanish-language version of the Problem Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT) were evaluated among school-based youth in Mexico. Participants were 1203 youth attending one middle school (N = 619) and one high school (N = 584) in the third largest city of Coahuila, a northern border state in Mexico in May 1998. More than 94% of youth enrolled in the participating middle school and 89% of youth enrolled in the participating high school completed the International Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health. Indices of classification accuracy of the POSIT Substance Use/Abuse scale were evaluated against a "drug abuse" problem severity criterion that combined youth meeting DSM-IV criteria for alcohol abuse/dependence disorders with youth having used other illicit drugs five or more times in their lifetime. The present study findings suggest that using a cut score of one or two on the POSIT Substance Use/Abuse scale generally yields optimal classification accuracy indices that vary somewhat by gender and school subgroups. Further, classification accuracy indices of the POSIT Substance Use/Abuse scale are slightly better when used among high school males due, in part, to the higher base rate of serious involvement among this group compared to others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-329
Number of pages23
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 30 2004

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Classification accuracy
  • Drug abuse
  • Drug use
  • Mexico
  • Screening tools
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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