Cross-validation of the alcohol and cannabis use measures in the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) and Timeline Followback (TLFB; Form 90) among adolescents in substance abuse treatment
Article first published online: 15 OCT 2004
Special Issue: Research Perspectives on Treatment for Adolescent Alcohol Use Disorders
Volume 99, Issue Supplement s2, pages 120–128, November 2004
How to Cite
Dennis, M. L., Funk, R., Godley, S. H., Godley, M. D. and Waldron, H. (2004), Cross-validation of the alcohol and cannabis use measures in the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) and Timeline Followback (TLFB; Form 90) among adolescents in substance abuse treatment. Addiction, 99: 120–128. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2004.00859.x
- Issue published online: 15 OCT 2004
- Article first published online: 15 OCT 2004
- Adolescent substance abuse treatment;
Aims To examine the comparability, reliability and predictive validity of two instruments used to assess alcohol use and dependence: the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) and the Form 90 Timeline Followback (TLFB) method.
Design, setting and participants Adolescents (n = 101) admitted to a residential treatment program in the United States were interviewed at intake with the GAIN, and again within a week with a variation of TLFB, called Form 90. Alcohol and cannabis measures were compared and used to predict the number of past-month substance abuse and dependence symptoms.
Measurement Self-report measures of days of alcohol and cannabis use in the 90 days prior to intake, peak number of drinks/joints used, peak blood alcohol content (BAC) and alcohol and cannabis abuse and dependence symptom counts.
Findings Results revealed that the measures had: (a) excellent comparability (r = 0.7–0.8) across the two instruments; (b) deteriorating reliability after reported peak BAC levels exceeded 0.50 and peak joints exceeding 19; and (c) similar and strong relationships between use measures and the number of abuse/dependence symptoms across measures and instruments.
Conclusions In a sample of 101 adolescents who were admitted to residential treatment for alcohol or drug dependence, the corresponding measures from the two instruments produced comparable results. If the cross-validation of these two measures generalizes to adolescents treated in out-patient settings and other adolescent treatment populations, the GAIN and Form 90 may provide useful core alcohol measures for meta-analyses.