This present study examined agreement between
retrospective accounts of substance use and earlier reported
substance use in a high school age sample.
Three issues were addressed: (1) extent of overall
agreement; (2) evidence for the presence of a
response-shift bias; and (3) extent to which current use
biases recall of substance use. Subjects were 415 high
school students who took part in a smoking prevention
program. At the last measurement, which took place
2½ years after the pretest, the students were asked to
recall pretest use of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana,
and use one year earlier. Results showed an overall
tendency for students to recall less use of uncontrolled
substances than had been previously reported. For the
one controlled substance included in the questionnaire,
marijuana, current nonusers tended to recall less use
than they had reported at the time, whereas current
users tended to recall more use than had been reported.
The present study found no evidence for a
response-shift bias. It is suggested that the explicitly
worded anchors on the response scales helped prevent
such a bias. Finally, the results suggest that current
use biases recall of past use to a substantial extent,
and that this bias affects recall of alcohol use most severely.
Collins, Linda M, Graham, John W, Hansen, William B & Johnson, C. Anderson. (1985). Agreement between retrospective accounts of substance use and earlier reported substance use. Applied Psychological Measurement, 9, 301-309. doi:10.1177/014662168500900308
Collins, Linda M.; Graham, John W.; Hansen, William B.; Johnson, C. Anderson.
Agreement between retrospective accounts of substance use and earlier reported substance use.
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