Can Communities Assess Support for Preventing Adolescent Alcohol and Other Drug Use? Reliability and Validity of a Community Assessment Inventory

By Mills, Jessica; Bogenschneider, Karen | Family Relations, October 2001 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Can Communities Assess Support for Preventing Adolescent Alcohol and Other Drug Use? Reliability and Validity of a Community Assessment Inventory


Mills, Jessica, Bogenschneider, Karen, Family Relations


Can Communities Assess Support for Preventing Adolescent Alcohol and Other Drug Use? Reliability and Validity of a Community Assessment Inventory*

This study examines the reliability and validity of the Youth Support Inventory, a tool designed for community coalitions to assess the availability of local resources and supports that previous research indicates are important for preventing adolescent alcohol and other drug use. Citizen members in 17 community coalitions completed the inventory. In tests of validity, a higher score (i.e., more community support) was associated with less adolescent alcohol use. In tests of reliability, the inventory was reduced from 55 to 40 items (a = .71). Of the prevention strategies identified by the coalition, 94% addressed resources the local assessment indicated were not extensively available in the community.

Key Words: alcohol use, community assessment, prevention, validity.

Across America, community coalitions have been created to reduce risky behaviors among youth, leading scholars to label the 1990s the "decade of community coalitions" (Lerner & Miller, 1993, p. 348). Community-based coalitions are popular because providing opportunities for citizen participation has proven effective for addressing a number of public issues. For example, collaborative efforts among community residents and representatives of nonprofit organizations, advocacy groups, government agencies, and universities have been used to prevent youth risk behaviors, particularly alcohol and other drug use (Hawkins, Catalano, & Miller 1992; Mansergh, Rohrbach, Montgomery, Pentz, & Johnson, 1996).

This proliferation in community coalitions addressing youth alcohol and other drug use occurred in part because of the prevalence of substance use. National surveys show adolescent alcohol use ranges from 28% of eighth graders to 57% of 12th graders. Overall, 51% of high school students report consuming at least one alcoholic drink in the last 30 days (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 1996; Johnston, O'Malley, & Bachman, 1995). In addition, nearly one third of teenagers believe that drugs are the most important problem they face, more so than social pressures or family problems (Califano & Booth, 1998).

Adolescent alcohol use is correlated with other risky behaviors, such as driving while intoxicated and sexual activity (Bogenschneider, Wu, Raffaelli, & Tsay, 1998; Hawkins, Catalano, & Miller, 1992; Zabin, Hardy, Smith, & Hirsch, 1986). In 1996, for example, 36% of motor vehicle fatalities among 15- to 20year-olds were alcohol related (CDC, 1997). Among teens who were sexually active, rates of substance use were higher than among their nonsexually active peers, even after controlling for age, race, and gender (Zabin et al., 1986). Moreover, one fourth of adolescents reported that they had used alcohol or other drugs during their last sexual experience (CDC, 1996). Consequently, comprehensive community-based prevention programs designed to reduce adolescent substance use have the potential to decrease other risky behaviors as well.

The explosion of community coalitions (Butterfoss, Goodman, Wandersman, 1996; Lerner & Miller, 1993; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 1993) coupled with the evidence that coalitions can effectively prevent risky adolescent behaviors (Johnson, Hansen, & Pentz, 1986; Manger, Hawkins, Haggerty, & Catalano, 1992; Pentz et al., 1989) has prompted the development of community inventories to help coalitions assess how supportive the community is in promoting positive youth development and preventing risky behaviors. These tools are a fundamental component of successful community action because they can help (a) promote the development of research-based community prevention strategies, and (b) identify which strategies are most needed locally.

The Youth Support Inventory for Adolescent Alcohol and Other Drug Use (YSI) was created as a component of the Wisconsin Youth Futures program (see Bogenschneider, 1996, for an overview) and contains items empirically related to adolescent alcohol use.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Can Communities Assess Support for Preventing Adolescent Alcohol and Other Drug Use? Reliability and Validity of a Community Assessment Inventory
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?