High-Risk Situations Related to Relapse of Methamphetamine Use among Taiwanese Adolescents: An Instrumentation Study

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Abstract

Methamphetamine is the leading illicit substance used by adolescents in Taiwan and the rise of its production and use is a major public health concern in Southeast and East Asia. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a new instrument to identify high-risk situations related to methamphetamine relapse among incarcerated Taiwanese adolescents. Participants in this study were arrested for methamphetamine use and mandatorily held at an abstinence center. In the instrument development phase, an item pool was generated from a qualitative study and further revised based on content evaluations by 6 clinical content experts. In the instrument analysis phase, the new tool was psychometrically tested. The intra-class correlation coefficient showed high stability of the instrument (r = .92). Factor analysis resulted in a 6-factor solution accounting for 66.68% of the variance in the 16-item model. Although this instrument was developed for use with Taiwanese adolescents, it needs further testing to confirm its usefulness in other cultural groups. The identified risky situations provide a beginning assessment tool that is easy to administer and can be used to identify teens at particular risk for relapse before being released from incarceration or other mandatory treatment programs. More research is needed to target specific and culturally determined triggers that can improve the validity of this tool for non Asian adolescents at risk for methamphetamine relapse.

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