Adolescent Chemical Dependency Inventory (ACDI) is designed for
assessing troubled youths in school settings and in counseling or treatment
programs. The ACDI is objective, straightforward, and easily understood.
Specific intervention, counseling and treatment recommendations are provided in
ACDI reports. The ACDI has 105 items and takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete. It
has five scales (measures):
5. Drug Scale
The ACDI is a short, non-offensive, self-report test that obtains
a lot of important information quickly.
** Adolescent Chemical Dependency Inventory **
Juvenile assessment in school systems and troubled youth
Intake screening in juvenile counseling, and treatment programs
Assistance in identifying appropriate intervention, counseling and
Juvenile substance (alcohol and other drugs) abuse intake
The ACDI has 105 items and takes, on average, 15 to
20 minutes to complete. It is an automated, (computer scored) self-report test
for juvenile (14 to 17 years) assessment. The ACDI screens substance (alcohol
and other drugs) use and abuse, overall adjustment, and troubled youth concerns.
Five ACDI Measures (Scales)
Truthfulness Scale: Measures
the truthfulness of the youth while completing the test. This scale identifies
defensive youths that minimize their problems, or even try to "fake good."
Alcohol Scale: Measures
the severity of alcohol use and abuse. Alcohol refers to beer, wine, and
Measures illicit drug use and the severity of abuse. Drugs refer to
marijuana, crack, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, heroin, etc.
Measures home, school, and relationship adjustment. Quality of peer,
family, and authoritarian relationships are also explored.
Distress Scale: Measures
anxiety and depression. The term "dysthymic" combines symptoms of anxiety and
depression, in the same disorder.
* * * * *
There are two versions of the ACDI:
1. ACDI and 2.
ACDI-Corrections Version II. Each version will be briefly, described, so the test
reviewer can select the version that best meets their needs.
The Adolescent Chemical Dependency Inventory, or
ACDI, is described above, and this is the ACDI webpage. An example, ACDI report
is presented at the end of this webpage for review.
The ACDI-Corrections Version II is designed for
juvenile court, probation department, and drug court use. Version II has a
Violence (Lethality) Scale. Version II has 140 items and takes 25 to 30 minutes
to complete. And, Version II has seven scales:
1. Truthfulness Scale, 2. Violence
(Lethality) Scale, 3.
Adjustment Scale, 4. Distress Scale,
5. Alcohol Scale, 6. Drug
Scale, and 7. Stress Coping Abilities
ACDI test booklets are provided free. These
booklets contain 105 items and are written at a fifth to sixth
grade reading level. If a person can read the newspaper, they can read the
ACDI. It takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete the ACDI. These test booklets are
available in English and Spanish.
In brief, an ACDI report summarizes the youth's
self-reported history, explains what attained scale scores mean, and offers
specific, score-related recommendations.
ACDI tests are administered and scored on-site, and reports
are printed on-site. Within 2½ minutes of test data entry, the automated,
(computer scored) three-page reports are available on-site. These reports summarize
a wealth of information in an easily understood format. For example, these
reports include an ACDI profile (graph), which summarizes juvenile findings at
a glance. Also included are explanations of what each score means and specific,
score-related recommendations. Significant items (direct admissions) are
highlighted, and answers to the built-in interview (the last sequence of
multiple choice items) are presented. Emphasis has been placed on generating
meaningful, reports that are helpful and easily understood. An ACDI
example report is presented at the end of this webpage.
Advantages of Screening
Screening and assessment instruments filter out
individuals with serious problems, who may require referral for more,
comprehensive evaluations and/or treatment. This filtering system works as
0 - 39%
40 - 69%
70 - 89%
90 - 100%
Reference to the above risk range table shows that the risk
is not identified as a problem until a scale score is at the 70th percentile,
or higher. These risk range percentiles are based upon the norms of thousands of
troubled youths who have taken the ACDI. This procedure is, eminently, fair and
it avoids both extremes, specifically, over-identification and under-identification of
A court, department, or agency's policy might refer
juveniles, with severe problems, for further evaluation or treatment. In that
case, 11% of the people screened (severe problem) would be referred. In this
example, 89% of the people screened would not be referred for additional (and
Potential for budgetary savings
(dollars) is large, with no compromises in receiving
appropriate evaluation and/or treatment services. Accordingly, more, needy juveniles
could receive help. Without a screening program, there is, usually, more risk of
over or under-utilization of additional, professional services.
The ACDI is available in Windows formatted, test
diskettes. Windows diskettes require a simple, one-time, computer setup procedure,
after which the ACDI data (25 or 50 test applications) diskettes can be used.
Training manuals are provided free, and new test
users can be walked through these procedures over the Behavior Data Systems, Ltd.'s
(BDS) telephone line.
Proprietary, ACDI data diskettes contain the 25 or 50,
test applications. These 3½" diskettes score, interpret, and print ACDI reports
on-site. Once an ACDI, account is established, ordered diskettes are mailed to
users. When all test applications are used, the diskettes are returned to Behavior
Data Systems, where the test data and demographics are downloaded into the ACDI
database, for subsequent research analysis. The proprietary, "delete names"
program is activated by test users, with a few keystrokes, to delete all names
from the diskettes, before they are returned to Behavior Data Systems. Deleting
all client names insures juvenile confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA
(Federal Regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).
The ACDI system contains a proprietary database.
Earlier, it was noted that all, ACDI used diskettes are returned to Behavior
Data Systems, and the test data, along with related demographics, are downloaded
into the ACDI database. This, expanding database allows for ongoing research and
testing program, summary capabilities that had not been possible before. Ongoing
research insures quality control. Test program summaries provide program,
The built-in database permits ongoing research and
annual program summary, at no additional cost. When the 25 or 50 tests on a
diskette are used, that diskette is returned to Behavior Data Systems and
downloaded into the ACDI database. Advantages of a built-in database are many,
and include database (research) analysis and the provision of annual summary
reports. The ACDI is restandardized, annually, on a state-by-state basis, at no
additional cost to users.
No personal information, names, social security numbers, etc., are ever
downloaded into any, test database.
In summary, having all used ACDI tests' data
centrally filed, at Behavior Data Systems' offices in the ACDI database, has many
advantages. Database analysis permits ongoing, cost efficient research that
includes scale alpha coefficients, frequency distributions, correlations,
ANOVA, and cross-tab statistics, along with reliability, validity, and accuracy
After BDS downloads test data, the returned diskettes are destroyed.
Annual Summary Reports
Behavior Data Systems
can access each of its tests' built-in databases, for statistical analysis and
summarization of all tests administered over a year. Annual Summary Reports are
prepared for state, department, agency and, even some, individual providers -- at
no cost. These reports are provided as a professional courtesy to large
volume, test users. Summary reports include demographics, court-history (when
relevant), and test statistics (reliability, validity, and accuracy). Has anyone
offered to summarize your testing program? Annually? At no additional cost to
you? Minimum, testing volume for annual reports is 350 tests. There is no
maximum limit. BDS' annual reports range in size, from 350 tests, to over 55,000
tests, annually. An example, Annual Summary Report can be viewed by clicking on
this Annual Summary Reports link.
Reliability and Validity
The ACDI has a built-in database that insures
inclusion of all administered test data, in a confidential (no names) manner. And,
these reliability, validity, and accuracy statistics are reported in the
document titled, "ACDI: An
Inventory of Scientific Findings." Database analysis continues to
demonstrate that ACDI scales maintain very high, reliability coefficients.
In the example below, internal consistencies (coefficient
alphas) for ACDI scales are reported for 1,042 juveniles screened, in the
RELIABILITY OF THE ACDI (N=1,042, 2001)
All, ACDI scales have alpha coefficients well, above
the professionally accepted standard of .75, and are highly reliable. All,
coefficient alphas are significant at the p<.001 level.
Early, validity studies used criterion measures and
were validated with other tests, e.g., Minnesota Multiphasic Personality
Inventory (MMPI) L and F Scales, 16PF, Treatment Intervention Inventory,
MacAndrews, and Juvenile Profile, along with experienced staff ratings. Much of this
research is reported in the document titled, "ACDI: An Inventory of Scientific
Findings." To go directly to this research, click on the ACDI Research link.
Relationships between ACDI and
ACDI-Corrections Version II scales
The ACDI-Corrections Version II is a corrections
version of the ACDI, where the Violence Scale was added, but the other scales
remained the same. Pearson, product-moment correlation coefficients, between ACDI
scale scores and ACDI-CV II scale scores are presented in the table below.
CORRELATION BETWEEEN ACDI & ACDI II
r = .99
r = .99
r = .99
r = .99
r = .98
Two, different, juvenile groups were used in
this correlation analysis, with each youth group taking only the ACDI or the ACDI-CV II.
To test the correlation between scale scores, the data for each scale was
sorted in ascending order. This type of correlation was used, because different
respondents took different tests. But, because the scales and respondents were
similar, the correlations were meaningful. There were 2,084 youths included in
this analysis (1,042 for each test). The resulting, high correlation coefficients
demonstrate that ACDI and ACDI-CV II scales are reliable and valid.
Staff Member Input
Some people advocate fully-automated assessment;
Behavior Data Systems does not. The ACDI is to be used in conjunction with
experienced staff judgment. Experienced evaluators should also interview the
youth. For these reasons, the following statement is contained in each ACDI
report: "ACDI reports are confidential and should be considered working
hypotheses. No decision should be based solely upon ACDI results. ACDI results
are to be used in conjunction with experienced staff judgment."
Truthfulness Scale measures how truthful and open the juvenile was,
while completing the ACDI. This scale identifies denial, problem minimization,
and faking. Many, troubled youth attempt to minimize their problems. Therefore,
Truthfulness Scale is a necessary component in contemporary, juvenile
assessment. The ACDI Truthfulness Scale has been validated with other tests,
truthfulness studies, and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
L and F Scales. It consists of a number of items that most juveniles agree or
disagree with. This, important scale has been demonstrated to be reliable, valid,
and accurate. Much of this, normative research is reported in the document
titled, "ACDI: An Inventory of Scientific Findings."
have proven to be very important in enhancing assessment accuracy. This
proprietary, truth correction program is comparable to the MMPI K Scale,
correction methodology. The ACDI Truthfulness Scale has been correlated with
the other, four, ACDI scales. The Truth-Correction equation converts raw scores
to Truth-Corrected scores. Truth-Corrected scores are more accurate than raw
scores. Raw scores reflect what the juvenile wants you to know. Truth-Corrected
scores reveal what the juvenile is trying to hide.
Measures the youth's ability to adapt, conform, and function. This scale
recognizes personal and social stressors at home, school, and in authority
relationships. It incorporates personal and social forces involved in the youth's adapting
to their environment.
Measures the youth's experienced pain, suffering, anxiety, and depression. The
blending of symptom clusters is clear, in the definition of dysphoria, i.e., a
generalized feeling of anxiety, restlessness, and depression. Distress
incorporates unhappiness, dissatisfaction, worry, apprehension, etc. The
Distress Scale, also, incorporates items symptomatic of anxiety and depression.
Distress has broad applicability in adjustment, intervention, counseling, and
More than just another
alcohol or drug test: In
addition to alcohol and drugs, the ACDI assesses other important areas of
inquiry, like truthfulness, distress, and adjustment. The ACDI is designed,
specifically, for juvenile (male and female) assessment. It provides the
information needed for understanding juvenile attitudes and behavior. An ACDI,
example report can be viewed by clicking on the
ACDI Example Report link.
Three ways to give the ACDI: The
ACDI can be administered in three different ways: 1.
Paper-pencil, test booklet format, which is the most popular testing procedure.
English and Spanish test booklets are available.
2. ACDI tests given directly on the computer screen. Some
youth programs dedicate computers for on-screen testing. And,
3. Human Voice Audio, which is
available for English and Spanish-speaking youths. This involves a computer and
a headset. The juvenile uses the up-down, arrow keys. As the juvenile goes from
question to answer, with the arrow key, that question or answer is highlighted
on the monitor (screen) and, simultaneously, read to the juvenile. These three,
administration modes are discussed in, "ACDI: Orientation and Training
Manual." Each, test administration mode has advantages and some limitations. Behavior Data Systems offers
these, three, test administration modes, so test users can select the
administration mode that is, optimally, suited to their needs.
Reading Impaired Assessment: Reading impaired
juveniles represent 20+ percent of youths tested. This represents a serious
problem to many, other, juvenile tests. In contrast, Behavior Data Systems has
developed a proprietary, alternative for reading impaired assessment, which is
termed, "Human Voice Audio."
Human Voice Audio
(in English or Spanish) helps resolve many reading, along with cultural
difference issues. Passive vocabularies are, often, greater than active
vocabularies. Hearing items read, often, helps reduce both, cultural and
communication problems. As discussed earlier, "Human Voice Audio" test
presentation requires a computer, earphones, and simple instructions, regarding
how to operate the up-down, arrow keys located on the computer keyboard. Without
this, "Human Voice Audio" option, a juvenile screening program could be limited.
Confidentiality: Behavior Data Systems encourages test users to
delete juvenile names from diskettes, before they are returned to Behavior Data
Systems. This proprietary, "name deletion" procedure involves a few keystrokes.
Once juvenile names are deleted, they are gone and cannot be retrieved.
Deleting juvenile names does not delete demographics or test data, allowing it to be
downloaded into the ACDI database, for subsequent analysis. This, name deletion
procedure insures juvenile confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA (Federal
Regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).
Test Data Input
Verification: This proprietary
program allows the person, who inputs the test data from the answer sheet into
the computer, to verify the accuracy of their data input. In brief, test data is
input twice, and any inconsistencies, between the first and second data entries,
are highlighted, until corrected. When the first and second data entries match
or are the same, the staff person may continue. Use of this data entry
verification procedure is optional, yet it is strongly recommended by Behavior Data Systems.
Inventory of Scientific
Findings: Much of the ACDI research has
been gathered together in one document titled, "ACDI: An Inventory of Scientific
Findings." This document summarizes ACDI research chronologically -- as the
studies were completed. This, rather innovative, chronological reporting format
was established, largely, thanks to the existence of the ACDI database, which permits annual
database analysis of all tests administered. It also allows the reader to
observe the evolution of the ACDI, into its current, state-of-the-art position.
Training: Behavior Data Systems' staff is available to participate
in ACDI training programs, scheduled by test users in the United States. Large
departments/agencies, and statewide programs are, often, interested in ACDI staff
training. Certificates attesting to training completion are provided.
Staff training is, also, provided on Fridays at
Behavior Data Systems' Phoenix offices, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and from
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. These training sessions are free. To participate,
contact Behavior Data Systems at least ten days in advance. Participation is on
a first call, first scheduled basis.
"What Users Are Saying..."
"The Adolescent Chemical Dependency Inventory
(ACDI) format is focused, sequential, and easy to read. The over-lay between
the print-out and staff assessment has been a perfect fit. The staff response
is 'right-on-target.' The scope of the analysis is broad, but concise. Our
tested population falls into a normal, bell-curve distribution. The diskette
allows us to give a same week guarantee, same day probability, and same hour
feedback appropriate for the identified problems. Finally, the option for
telephone consultation is of significant value, if or when needed - which, for
this office, has been perhaps twice, over the past eleven months (in a word or
two - its trouble free!)."
Porter County Juvenile Probation Office, Indiana
"We have been using the Adolescent Chemical
Dependency Inventory (ACDI) in our standardized youth intake evaluations for
two years now. The ACDI has had many positive advantages to our clients, staff
and in terms of our mission, i.e., to provide the highest quality of service to
those in need at affordable prices. The availability of test results within the
same day enables us to focus our interviews and thereby save significant staff
time. Test results are summarized in an easily understood manner regarding our
client's problems, situation and needs. Client risk levels are summarized at a
glance and recommendations are both relevant and helpful. This objective and
reliable information does provide us with a 'sound basis for decisions making.'
The ACDI shortens our intake procedures, aids us in cutting through denial and
National Council on Alcoholism, Inc., Arizona
"I am writing to indicate how pleased we are with
the ACDI. This screening instrument provides us with an enormous amount of
invaluable information at a fraction of the cost of any alternatives. As you
know, troubled youth with a strenuous eight-day program in the Northern Flinders
Ranges and a reliable initial screening program for prospective participants is
essential . . . Over time the ACDI will allow us to develop a much better
psychological profile of the youth who experience Operation Flinders."
Operation Flinders, National Curriculum &
"I received the ACDI summary report as requested
earlier this month, and wanted to thank you for not only your prompt response
but also the information the report itself contains.
It is very difficult for small court systems,
like ours, to have the means to compile statistical data on issues other than
those which are legislatively mandated. So many times, needed data, such as
which your summary covered, is unavailable due to the inability of the system
to have the financial resources or technical knowledge base needed. The summary
report gives me the ability to now approach community leaders with hard data
confirming demographic trends and treatment needs that I am aware of but could
not substantiate. Now, future treatment planning that would have not occurred
because of lack of data will occur.
Again, thank you for making the summary report
available as part of the cost of the instrument itself. We, at TASC, will
continue to use the assessment instruments developed by your company and will
also continue to recommend them for use in future Ohio Juvenile TASC programs."
TASC, Common Pleas Court,
Scale Interpretation: There are several levels of
scale interpretation, ranging from viewing the ACDI and the ACDI-Corrections
Version II as self-reports to interpreting scale elevations and scale
interrelationships. A discussion of scale interpretation is presented on
the ACDI-Corrections Version II webpage.
Unit Fee (Cost): ACDI cost information can be reviewed by clicking
on the Test Unit Fee (Cost) link. There is only, one cost
or charge, and that is the test unit fee. Everything else is included, at no
additional cost to the test user. This includes test booklets, answer sheets,
training manuals, upgrades, ongoing database research, annual summary - testing
reports, staff training, and support services. Do not be misled by some test
publishers' à la carte pricing, like separate costs for each, test administration,
as well as for each of the test-related items, listed above. Instead of asking
for the test administration cost, ask for the total cost involved in using a
test. We believe Behavior Data Systems' one, test unit fee is very affordable.
Examination Kit: A one-test demonstration diskette is
available on a 30-day, cost free basis. Demo diskettes are in Windows format.
The Examination Kit includes a one-test, demo diskette, installation CD (with
instructions), test booklet, answer sheet and, some descriptive materials.
Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. does want the test booklet and diskette returned,
within 30 days.
Selecting a Juvenile
Screening Instrument or Test
If you are selecting a juvenile assessment
instrument, the following Comparison Checklist should prove helpful. This
checklist itemizes important assessment and screening qualities. The "Other"
column represents any, other test you might want to compare to the ACDI.
TEST COMPARISON CHECKLIST
Designed specifically for juvenile assessment
Test reliability & validity research provided
Test completed in 15 to 20 minutes
On-site reports within 2½ minutes
Truthfulness Scale to detect faking
Truth-Corrected scores for accuracy
Three test administration options
1. Paper-pencil (English and Spanish)
2. On computer screen (English and Spanish)
3. Human Voice Audio (English and Spanish)
Delete Names (confidentiality) procedure
HIPAA (federal regulation) compliant
Very affordable test unit fee
Test data input verification (accurate scoring)
Available in English and Spanish
Annual database research (Free)
Annual test program summary (Free)
Comprehensive assessment (Five Scales)
Specific scale score-related recommendations
Alcohol and Drug Scales
Easily understood and helpful reports
ASAM compatible recommendations
Staff training (Free)
Examination kits (Free)
As stated earlier, the above checklist itemizes
important assessment, screening, and evaluation qualities. Rather than naively
or blindly accepting a colleague's test recommendation, compare the tests. We are
confident that the ACDI will compare favorably with other juvenile tests. An
ACDI example report is, now, presented for your review.