2007 issue 2


Volume 16, issue 2

Original article

Psychometric properties of the Problematic Marijuana Use (PUM) test for adolescents

Katarzyna Okulicz-Kozaryn1
1. Zakład Psychologii i Promocji Zdrowia Psychicznego Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii 2007; 16 (2): 105-111
Keywords: problematic cannabis use, adolescents, test validity


Objective. To examine psychometric properties of the PUM test for the assessment ofproblematic cannabis use among adolescents.

Method. The criterion standard for the test validity was a clinical diagnostic interview conducted by specialists trained in drug prevention and therapy. Respondents were reached in 58 randomly chosen Polish local communities by snowball sampling. A total of 1277 adolescents (36% female) aged 13 to 18 years, who used cannabis at least once in the past 12 months, participated in the study. The majority (89%) had no contacts with any drug-therapy facilities. Among respondents 49% were diagnosed as occasional users and 51% - as problematic users or addicts. A 24-item self-report questionnaire concerning drug use in the past 12 months was administered. Moreover, a diagnostic interview to assess the phase of cannabis use was conducted according to precise guidelines by trained therapists and prevention workers.

Results. Logistic regression analysis showed that 8 out of the basic set of 24 test items were most powerful in differentiating occasional and problematic users. A test score of 3 or higher was optimal for identifying problematic cannabis use (sensitivity - 0.81, specificity - 0.88 in the whole group of cannabis users, and sensitivity - 0.80, specificity - 0.94 in the sub-group of adolescents for whom cannabis was the first choice drug). Validity was not affected by age or sex.

Conclusions. The prognostic validity of the PUM test was examined in a large community sample. Satisfactory psychometric properties of the test allow to recommend it for use in different settings (e.g. outpatient and primary-care centres, schools) by youth specialists. However, evaluation of the test functioning in the process of intervention toward drug using adolescents is needed.

Address for correspondence:
Dr Katarzyna Okulicz-Kozaryn
Zakład Psychologii i Promocji Zdrowia Psychicznego Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii
ul. Sobieskiego 9, 02-957 Warszawa
e-mail: kokulicz@ipin.edu.pl