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Purpose: This study examined the validity of the Delinquent Activities Scale (DAS), based in part on the Self Reported Delinquency (SRD) scale.

Method: Participants were 190 incarcerated adolescents (85.8% male; average age 17 years) at a juvenile correctional facility in the Northeast. While incarcerated, they were asked about substance use and delinquent activities in the 1 year prior to incarceration, as well as parental, peer, and demographic information. They were tracked at three months post-release, given the DAS, and assessed for post-release substance use.

Results: Three factors of the DAS assess general, alcohol-involved, and marijuana-involved delinquent activities. Principal components analysis was used to develop subscales within each factor. Support was found for concurrent and predictive incremental validities of these factors and their subscales in predicting substance use, with stronger findings for the general and the alcohol-involved factors. Subscales related to stealing showed lower validity than those related to more aggressive behaviors.

Conclusions: These analyses suggest that the factors and empirically derived subscales offer researchers and clinicians a psychometrically sound approach for the assessment of adolescent misbehaviors.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.