Assessing the Validity of Self-Reported Drug Use Over Time

Christopher D. Maxwell, Michigan State University
Christina DeJong, Michigan State University

There is a large body of literature discussing the validity of self-reported measures of drug use; however, the large majority of these studies are cross-sectional in nature and have not addressed how untruthfulness in the reporting of drug use varies over time. Using data collected from the ADAM Program (Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring), we compare self-reported and urinalysis measures of drug use longitudinally. First, we analyze the relative relationship in the trends of positive drug urine tests and positive self-reporting between 1988 and 1999. Next, we disaggregate these relationships by both drug type and length of time covered by self-reports (24 to 40 hours, 72 hours, 30 days, and 12 month). Finally, we specify multivariate Hierarchical Linear Models of lying about drug use by drug types to estimate the distribution of liars across demographic and legal factors, and how these factors interact with time.

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Updated 05/20/2006