Adolescent Substance Treatment Engagement Questionnaire for Incarcerated Teens

Document Type


Date of Original Version



Background: Treatment engagement is often measured in terms of treatment retention and drop out, resource utilization, and missed appointments. Since persons may regularly attend treatment sessions but not pay close attention, actively participate, or comply with the program, attendance may not reflect the level of effort put into treatment. Teens in correctional settings may feel coerced to attend treatment, making it necessary to develop measures of treatment involvement beyond attendance. This study describes the development and validation of the Adolescent Substance Treatment Engagement Questionnaire (ASTEQ), Teen and Counselor versions. Methods: The psychometric properties of the ASTEQ were examined in a sample of incarcerated teens (N= 205) and their counselors. Principal component analysis was conducted on teen and counselor versions of the questionnaire. Results: Scales of positive and negative treatment engagement were found, reflecting both overt behaviors (joking around, talking to others) and attitudes (interest in change). Significant correlations with constructs related to treatment attitudes and behaviors, and misbehaviors (including substance use) demonstrate good concurrent and predictive validity. Teen and counselor ratings of engagement produced validity correlations in the medium effect size range. Conclusions: These measures comprise a valid and reliable method for measuring treatment engagement for incarcerated teens.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment