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29 May 2007 @ 11:52 am
Brief Questions Can ID At-Risk Youth, Researchers Say
May 10, 2007

A brief screening tool called the adolescent risk inventory (ARI) effectively identifies adolescents who may be at risk of engaging in alcohol and other drug use or other dangerous behaviors, a new study concludes.

Psych Central reported May 4 that a study of youths ages 12-19 who were given ARI screenings showed that the screening tool is "reliable and comprehensive and can be useful in quickly identifying a wide range of teen risk behaviors."

The ARI includes questions about sexual history, self-harm, and attitudes about acting out. Experts say that adolescents' willingness to engage in one high-risk activity could be an indicator that they are at risk of others.

"Given that the ARI is brief and broad in its assessment of behaviors, [time and relevance] barriers can be overcome and allow pediatricians, family doctors and mental health professionals to make referrals based on the information they get from the teen," said Celia Lescano, Ph.D., of the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

The research appears in the April 2007 issue of the journal Child Psychiatry and Human Development.

Lescano, C.M., et al. (2007) A Brief Screening Measure of Adolescent Risk Behavior. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 37(4): 325-336; 10.1007/s10578- 006-0037- 2.