Date of Graduation

8-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

Brent T. Williams

Committee Member

Stephanie L. Lusk

Second Committee Member

Rebecca Wiewel

Third Committee Member

John Sassin

Abstract

The prevalence of substance use among adolescents warrants considerable concern since it often has detrimental effects on an individual’s physical and mental health, and correlates with worsened social, physical, and employment outcomes. Research shows that adolescents with disabilities are especially susceptible to the development of substance use disorders. To address this concern and to ensure accurate rehabilitation service planning, effective screening for substance use risk is necessary. Unfortunately, the most common screening instruments for adolescent substance use rely on information obtained solely from self-report. This type of data, although useful, is also susceptible to inaccuracies due to such factors as client malingering, memory errors, and denial. These confounds propelled the development of the Juvenile Addiction Risk Rating, a 10-item instrument that rates the severity of an adolescent’s risk for substance addiction based on data collected from collateral sources as opposed to data collected solely from self-report. However, it had not been validated for use in vocational rehabilitation. This investigation presented 39 certified rehabilitation counselors with three vignettes depicting individuals of low, moderate, and high risk of substance use disorder with instructions to score a Juvenile Addiction Risk Rating (JARR) based on the information within the vignettes. This study also investigated whether statistical differences of JARR total scores were present between males and females, and ethnicities represented as Black/African American, White/Caucasian, Hispanic, and Other. Overall, the certified rehabilitation counselors scored with 95.73% accuracy, correctly scoring 112 of the 117 vignettes. An independent samples t-test found no statistical difference in mean total scores among males and females, but a one-way ANOVA, and post hoc Tukey HSD found a statistical difference of mean total scores between White/Caucasian and Hispanic ethnicities, but with a small effect size.