February 9, 2008

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive

In January 2008, each student in FSoS 5014, Introduction to Quantitative Family Research Methods, was asked to summarize and evaluate information about a secondary data set used in the family field. The following summary was prepared by Mary Woodward-Kreitz.

The purpose of this resource is to provide a public resource for data access and analysis.

The Principal Investigators are numerous, as there were more than 20 data sets represented, but the underwriters were:
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) is an initiative of the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.


Data collected from the following dates: 1975 to present, depending upon the study. Here is a selection of the most commonly requested sites. Some are the same study, redone on the same sample.
National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 2006
Monitoring the Future (MTF), 2006
National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), 2006
Gambling Impact and Behavior Study
National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 2005
Monitoring the Future (MTF), 2002
Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS)
Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) Concatenated File, 1992-2005
Alcohol and Drug Services Study (ADSS)
National Comorbidity Survey: Baseline (NCS-1), 1990-1992
Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study: Adolescent (DATOS-A)
Health Behavior in School-Aged Children (HBSC), 1997-1998
Monitoring the Future (MTF), 1995
National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA), 2001
Monitoring the Future (MTF), 2005
Number of waves of Data, and ages of participants at each wave:

The Archive covers basically three different research projects which all cover substance abuse and mental health variables for teens. The kids range from 12 to 18 years. Some of the data is about substance abuse treatment programs; most is on drug use patterns amongst teens within these age groups. One of the datasets has the same kids measured more than once within the 5 year period. Another does not test the same kids more than once.

The participants are kids themselves or treatment programs. I did not see multiple family members sampled. This is a limitation that seems to be true of all of the data sets on this site.

For the National Survey on Drug Use and Health:
Eight states, referred to as the large sample states, had a sample designed to yield 3,600 respondents per state for the 2006 survey. This sample size was considered adequate to support direct state estimates. The remaining 43 states (which include the District of Columbia) had a sample designed to yield 900 respondents per state in the 2006 survey. All told, this sample is comprised of over 70,000 kids!!

For the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), 17,000 treatment facilities were identified in the U. S. and 13,000 were surveyed.

The type of data received was mailed surveys for the treatment centers, questionnaires for some of the students, and computer assisted interviews and Audio CASI for some of the students on sensitive questions (wow).

Strengths and weaknesses: Amazing data collection effort. Incredible numbers of subjects. Hard to correlate the data between studies, however. Family aspects not included. This could be useful to family researchers in that variables of interest in kids (particularly sensitive variables) could be linked to family studies for estimates of reliability of the data in the family study.

Accessability seems wide open with agreement to terms of use. Able to access the data directly after agreement to terms of use.

Assessment of usefulness: Very useful. Important to be able to track adolescent patterns of risky behaviors as increased numbers of parents enter the work force and more and more kids are unsupervised at home. Still, we are left to wonder why or what correlates exist to the behavior observed in the kids. This would have to be undertaken in a family study.

Web site: links are provided to all of the individual studies providing data.

How to gain access? Agree to terms of use. Can be anonymous or not.

Posted by hgroteva at February 9, 2008 1:51 PM