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Subst Abuse. 2011;5:35-44. doi: 10.4137/SART.S7367. Epub 2011 Jul 24.

Validation of a targeted peer relations scale for adolescents treated for substance use disorder: an application of rasch modeling.

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  • 1School of Nursing and Health Studies, Public Health and Health Education Programs, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60563, USA.


The objective of this research is to use item response theory (IRT) to validate a 14-item peer relations scale for use in the adolescent treatment population. Subjects are 509 adolescents discharged from substance abuse treatment from 2004-2009. The person reliability is 0.76 and the Cronbach's alpha person raw score reliability is 0.93 both indicating the scale is a strong metric. The item reliability of 0.99 is high showing the model is reliable. The real separation (8.49) meaning items are placed on the Rasch "ruler" with about eight levels of importance identified. The mean-square statistics of the infit and outfit values were between 0.5 and 1.5 for the items indicating a low level of randomness and thus unidimensionality of the scale. Inspection of a Wright Item Map shows the hierarchical structure of the scale with a moderate degree of inter-item spread. The analysis shows the scale is a reliable unidimensional metric.


adolescents; peer relations; psychoactive substance use disorder; substance abuse treatment; treatment outcomes

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