Predictors of current depressive symptoms in a sample of drug court participants

Michelle Joosen, Thomas F. Garrity, Michele Staton-Tindall, Matthew L. Hiller, Carl G. Leukefeld, J. Matthew Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Interviews, completed between March 2000 and November 2002 with Kentucky drug court participants in Lexington and Bowling Green (N = 500), participated in a cross-sectional analysis examining the associations between self-reported, current depressive symptoms and various personal characteristics and experiences from the period before drug court involvement. Depressive symptoms were measured with the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and potential correlates were derived from the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), 1992 version. BSI depression scores indicated minimal-to-moderate symptoms, with a mean individual score of 0.73, on a scale from none (0) to extreme (4) symptom strength. Numerous predictor variables were significantly associated, but multiple regression analysis identified five variables as independent correlates of depressive symptoms: 1) poorer self-rated health, 2) having ever been treated in a hospital for psychological or emotional problems, 3) being troubled by family problems in the 6 months before drug court, 4) having had conflicts with nonfamily others in the 6 months before drug court, and 5) being female. If confirmed by future, prospective research, the five variables found by the multiple regression analysis may be useful in identifying and more adequately treating substance abusers with symptoms of depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1125
Number of pages13
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Michelle Joosen is currently an intern at the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The research project entitled “Predictors of Current Depression in a Sample of Drug Court Participants,” supported by the Center of Drug and Alcohol Research and the Department of Behavioral Science, College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky, was part of her research externship from the Erasmus University Medical School.

Funding Information:
This study is supported by Grant R01-DA13076 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Carl G. Leukefeld, principal investigator. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the views of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


  • Chronic drug use
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Drug court
  • Health status
  • Social relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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