207987 Psychological Mechanisms Associated with the Accuracy of Drug Use Reporting: Social Interest

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Timothy Johnson, PhD , Survey Research Laboratory, University of Illinois-Chicago, Chicago, IL
Michael Fendrich, PhD , Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Mary Ellen Mackesy-Amiti, PhD , Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health, Chicago, IL
Little research is currently available that evaluates psychological mechanisms that may be associated with the accuracy of drug use reporting in epidemiologic surveys. Given that underreporting of drug use continues to be a major concern, epidemiologists should explore measures associated with this behavior so that they can be adjusted for in etiological modeling. In this study, we investigate the relationship between the construct of social interest and the biologically validated reporting of recent cocaine use in a community sample. Social interest emphasizes affirmative attitudes towards humanity in general and emphatic understanding of individuals in particular (Crandall, 1991). We hypothesized that increasing social interest would be correlated with greater agreement between drug use reports and biological assays. The sample for this study consists of 477 adults aged 18-40 residing in Chicago, Illinois who were interviewed using audio computer-assisted self-interviews (ACASI) in 2001-02. In contrast to our a priori hypothesis, the findings revealed that persons under reporting recent cocaine use scored higher on a measure of social interest (mean = 11.25, SE = 0.24) than did persons not under-reporting (mean = 8.90, SE = 0.33; F (1,32) = 50.5, p < .0000). Logistic regression analyses confirmed these differences (OR = 1.15, 95% CI = 1.00 - 1.32) when adjusting for sociodemographic variables, including age, gender, race/ethnicity and education. Implications of these findings for the conduct of epidemiologic surveys and for models of the survey response process will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
participants will understand effects of psychological constructs on drug use reporting behavior and the possible limitations of survey questionnaires in epidemiologic research

Keywords: Drug Use, Survey

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: na

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Doctorate in Sociology and 25 years' applied experience in the conduct of survey research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.