The Validity of Truant Youths’ Marijuana Use and Its Impact on Alcohol Use and Sexual Risk Taking

Richard Dembo, Rhissa Briones-Robinson, Kimberly Barrett, Ken C. Winters, Rocío Ungaro, Lora Karas, Steven Belenko, Jennifer Wareham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Few studies investigating the validity of marijuana use have used samples of truant youths. In the current study, self-reports of marijuana use are compared with urine test results for marijuana to identify marijuana underreporting among adolescents participating in a longitudinal brief intervention for drug-involved truant youths. It was hypothesized that marijuana underreporting would be associated with alcohol underreporting and engaging in sexual risk behaviors. The results indicated marijuana underreporting was significantly associated with self-denial of alcohol use, but not associated with sexual risk behavior. Also, there was an age effect in marijuana use underreporting such that younger truant youths were more likely to underreport marijuana use, compared to older truant youths. Implications for policy and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-365
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • alcohol use
  • marijuana use
  • sexual risk behaviors
  • truant youth
  • validity of marijuana use


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