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Seton Hall University

MSW Program Director Creates Quick and Effective Screening Tools for Risk of Drug Use in Teens  

Matthew CorriganProfessor Matthew Corrigan, director of the Master of Social Work program at Seton Hall, has created two diagnostic screening tools for the risk assessment of drug and alcohol use among adolescents.

With drug use and overdose among younger people reaching epidemic proportions throughout the United States, diagnostic tools that can early assess the risk of substance abuse have been deemed critical as early intervention and prevention are far less costly in both terms of life and medical and mental health resources.

The questionnaires developed by Professor Corrigan are designed to fit this bill and are based on what is known as the SBIRT model of intervention—which stands for Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment, "an evidence-based practice used to identify, reduce, and prevent problematic use, abuse, and dependence on alcohol and illicit drugs."

Designed to be administered in a clinical, office or even a school setting, Professor Corrigan's questionnaires contain just 33 and five questions each and are known as the Adolescent Domain Screening Inventory (ADSI) and Adolescent Domain Screening Inventory – Short form (ADSI-S).

The 33 question ADSI correctly predicts high risk status for substance abuse 93 percent of the time based on the analyses of 26,781 students, grades 9 through 12, in New York State over the course of two months; the five question ADSI-S is based on that data and its longer and more thorough 33 question progenitor—the short version has a tested predictive validity rate of 75 percent and is envisioned for use as a brief initial screen.

Importantly, rather than just examining and reporting upon youth rates for substance use, the ADSI looks to assess the factors that have been shown to predict use. As such, the survey, while showing the relative risk for substance use in the community and among individual children, also provides a roadmap for decreasing that risk and ultimately increasing the elements in the community that help to buffer against that risk.

"Early detection and intervention has shown itself to be worth its weight in gold in stemming the tide of devastation and loss that is substance abuse," said Corrigan. "Our children, our families and our society at large all benefit if we can bring our protective resources to bear at the beginning—or before a problem even starts. The savings in dollars and lives with early intervention can be astronomical, and effective screening has shown itself to be key. Implementation of these two diagnostics can give parents, educators and mental health professionals a timely tool in the fight against substance abuse."

The research on the longer form ADSI has been published in a number leading academic journals, including the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse. Publication regarding the new short-form questionnaire, "Development of the Adolescent Domain Screening Inventory Short-form (ADSI-S), is forthcoming in the Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education.

Publications on ADSI and ADSI-S

Corrigan, M.J. (2017), "Development of the Adolescent Domain Screening Inventory Short-form (ADSI-S)," Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 61(3), (Forthcoming).

Corrigan, M.J. (2014), "The Development of the ADSI: Construct Validity for the Social Development Model," Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 23(6), 347-358.

Corrigan, M.J. (2014), "Predictive Validity Test of the Adolescent Domain Screening Inventory," Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 23(2), 130-136.

Corrigan, M.J. & Gurdineer, E.E. (2012), "Reliability Analyses for the ADSI: Test-Retest and Internal Consistency," Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 21(3), 247-253.

Corrigan, M.J. (2009), "Item Selection Methods for the Adolescent Domain Screening Inventory," Research on Social Work Practice, 19(1), 77-82.

Corrigan, M.J., Loneck, B., and Videka, L. (2007), "The Development and Preliminary Validation of the ADSI: A Substance Abuse Prevention Tool," Research on Social Work Practice, 17(3), 348-357.

Corrigan, M.J., Loneck, B., Videka, L., and Brown, M.C. (2007), "Moving the Risk and Protective Factor Framework toward Individualized Assessment in Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention," The Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 16(3), 17-34.

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For more information, please contact:

  • Michael Ricciardelli
  • (973) 378-9845
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