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NCJ Number: NCJ 182363   Add to Shopping cart   Find in a Library
Title: Differences in the Validity of Self-Reported Drug Use Across Five Factors: Gender, Race, Age, Type of Drug, and Offense Seriousness
  Document URL: PDF 
  Dataset URL: DATASET 1
Author(s): Andre B. Rosay ; Stacy S. Najaka ; Denise C. Herz
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 52
  Annotation: This examination of differences in the validity of self-reported drug use across five factors -- gender, race, age, type of drug, and offense seriousness -- shows that there are differences in the accuracy, underreporting, and overreporting of drug use.
Abstract: First, the study examined differences in the accuracy of self-reported drug use across gender, race, age, type of drug, and offense seriousness. The data used were collected in 1994 as part of the Drug Use Forecasting Program. Self-report surveys on lifestyles and drug use and urine specimens were collected from adult arrestees across 23 sites in the United States. The target population for all sites included male and female arrestees being held in a particular jurisdiction's detention facility. All arrestees were interviewed and asked for a urine specimen within 48 hours of their arrest. The study explains differences in the accuracy of self-reported drug use in terms of differences in underreporting and overreporting. Inaccurate self-reports can emerge due to underreporting and overreporting. The specific sources of inaccurate self-reports were determined. The study also explains differences in underreporting and overreporting in terms of true differences or differences in opportunity. Individuals can underreport drug use only if they test positive for drug use. Similarly, individuals can overreport drug use only if they test negative for drug use. In order to uncover true differences in underreporting and overreporting, the study controlled for differences in the opportunity to underreport and overreport. Results show that accuracy was a function of race. Black offenders provided less accurate self-reports than white offenders. This difference is explained by differences in underreporting and overreporting. The logistic regression results show that black offenders were more likely to underreport crack/cocaine use than white offenders, but black offenders were not more likely to underreport marijuana use than white offenders. This difference disappeared once opportunity was controlled for. The report concludes that differences in the accuracy, underreporting, and overreporting of drug use are relatively rare. Some of these rare differences can be attributed to differences in opportunity. No differences across gender, age, or offense seriousness were found. These findings support the further, although cautious, use of self-reports. 10 tables, 2 figures, and 30 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Drug use ; Research methods ; Age group comparisons ; Self-report studies ; Race-crime relationships ; Drug Use Forecasting system ; Gender issues ; NIJ final report
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 97-IJ-CX-0051
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
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