Background: Valid assessment of adolescent substance use is important in both research and clinical applications. However, the optimal approach to assessing adolescent use remains controversial, particularly with regard to the use of parent-reported measures. Methods: Using a systematic review of existing literature, we sought to evaluate the utility of parent measures of adolescent alcohol and cannabis use by examining their correspondence with self-report measures. Furthermore, we investigated study-related variables that may be associated with differing levels of parent–child correspondence. Relevant articles were identified using a systematic search across multiple databases. Results: The review revealed generally poor agreement between parent and adolescent reports of alcohol and cannabis use. Parents consistently underestimated use and problems associated with use when compared with adolescents. Community-based (versus clinical) samples, reporting regarding alcohol (versus cannabis), and reporting problems associated with use (versus reports of use/nonuse) were each associated with lower levels of parent–child agreement. Conclusions: Recommendations for the optimal use of parent measures of adolescent substance use are provided.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by grants P50DA027841 and K24DA035882 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The funding organization had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
- alcohol use
- cannabis use
- parent report
- self report
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article