SAQ-Adult Probation III

SAQ-Adult Probation III

SAQ Is The Acronym For Substance Abuse Questionnaire

The SAQ-Adult Probation III is an evidence-based adult (male and female) probation assessment instrument, or test. It is used in a variety of probationer-related settings like court evaluations, pre-sentence screenings, diversion program placements, probation department intake assessments, and identification of counseling and treatment needs.

SAQ-Adult Probation III scales (domains) include: 1. Truthfulness Scale, 2. Violence Scale, 3. Antisocial Scale, 4. Aggressiveness Scale, 5. Alcohol Scale, 6. Drug Scale, and 7. Stress Management Scale.

The SAQ-Adult Probation III consists of 140 true-false and multiple choice items and takes an average of 25 to 30 minutes to complete. Reports are computer scored with 3-page printed reports, which are printed on-site within 2 1/2 minutes from data (answers) entry. The SAQ-Adult Probation III has been administered to over 189,000 probationers and thousands of uncounted chemical dependency treatment patients.

Two Ways To Administer

There are two different ways to purchase, administer, score, and print SAQ-Adult Probation III tests.

1.Windows: the SAQ-Adult Probation III is available on diskettes and USB flash drives ( Tests can be administered on the computer monitor or in hard copy test booklets, and answer sheets. Then, for the assesor's convenience, answers are entered into the computer and within 2 ½ minutes of test data (answers) entry, report are scored, and printed on-site.

2. Online or Internet: The SAQ-Adult Probation III is available on Behavior Data Systems (BDS) internet testing platform ( Tests can be administered over the internet, scored with 3 page reports and printed within 2 1/2 minutes of data (answers) entry. Advantages of online or internet testing are convenience, accessibility (24/7) and order tests as needed (no expensive test inventories).

Cost is the same for Windows diskettes/ USB flash drives or online or internet testing. The test unit fee is $9.95 per test. Volume discounts are available upon request.

SAQ-Adult Probation III Scales

1. Truthfulness Scale: determines how honest or truthful the probationer was while completing the test. This scale measures probationer denial, problem minimization and attempts to 'fake good'. It would be naìve to assume that most probationers answer test questions honestly. Assessors and staff must know if they can depend upon the probationer's test results. Probationer denial and problem minimization are associated with increased probability of recidivism (Kropp, Hart, Webster & Eaves, 1995; Grann & Wedin, 2002).

2. Violence Scale: measures the use of force to injure, damage or destroy. This scale identifies probationers that are a danger to themselves and others. Violence can involve physical and emotional abuse. A strong predictor of violent recidivism while on probation is if the probationer is a generally violent aggressor (Stalans, Yarnold, Seng, Olson & Repp, 2004). Other elevated (70th percentile and higher) SAQ-Adult Probation III scale scores may reflect exacerbation or magnification of violence.

3. Antisocial Scale: assesses antisocial (against society) attitudes and behaviors. Antisocial people are often described as unsociable, unfriendly, hostile, misanthropic, egocentric or radical. Antisocial behavior is often described as uncaring and irresponsible. Other elevated (70th percentile and higher) SAQ-Adult Probation III (e.g. substance abuse) scales can result in augmentation or exacerbation of antisocial thinking. Antisocial behavior can stem from both environmental and genetic factors (Lee, 1999).

4. Aggressiveness Scale: measures strong aggressiveness and a need for social dominance, often with hostile tendencies. Many counselors initially describe aggressive patients as contentious, quarrelsome and belligerent. Aggressive behavior is typically below the violence threshold. A common synonym is 'outgoing' but with a negative connotation. Aggression Replacement Therapy is an effective type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) used to decrease aggression (Barnoski, 2002; Goldstein & Glick, 1994; Curulla, 1991).

5. Alcohol Scale: measures alcohol (beer, wine or other liquor) use and as warranted, the severity of abuse. Alcohol is a licit or legal substance. Research has shown that many probationers have alcohol-related problems (SAMHSA, 2008; BJS, 1998). Elevated (70th percentile or higher) Alcohol Scale scores often exacerbate or magnify other SAQ-Adult Probation III scale scores. The higher the score, the more serious the problem it represents. Alcohol is a factor in many violent crimes (Greenfeld, 1998).

6. Drugs Scale: measures illicit or illegal drug use (marijuana, crack, cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines, barbiturates, heroin, etc.) and as warranted, abuse. Abusive use of prescription drugs is also assessed. The Drugs Scale enables matching of drug problem severity with treatment intensity. The Drugs Scale problem threshold is the 70th percentile. As a general rule, the higher the scale score the more severe the problem. Significant numbers of probationers and parolees have been shown to test positive for illicit drugs (Isaac, Heatley & Savoie, 1990).

7. Stress Coping Abilities Scale: measures the probationer's ability to properly manage stress. Probationers are often susceptible to high rates of stress and emotional symptoms (Hagedorn & Willenbring, 2003). Since stress management skills are learned, stress management techniques and stratagems are taught in classroom settings. Many stress management classes are called stress management programs. It has been shown that poor stress coping or management skills undermine many health problems and mental disorders. A severe (90th percentile or higher) Stress Coping Abilities Scale score usually indicates that a diagnosable DSM-IV disorder is present.

For more SAQ-Adult Probation III scale information, click on the Scale Description link.


Barnoski, R. (2002). Washington State's implementation of aggression replacement training for juvenile offenders: Preliminary findings. Olympia, WA: The Evergreen State College, Washington State Institute for Public Policy.

Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1998. Substance Abuse and Treatment of Adults on Probation, 1995, NCJ-166611

Curulla, V. L. (1991). Aggression replacement training in the community for adult learning disabled offenders (Doctoral dissertation, University of Washington, 1991). Dissertation Abstracts International, 53(02-A), 627. (University Microfilms No. AAD92-16113).

Goldstein, A. P., & Glick, B. (1994). The prosocial gang: Implementing Aggression Replacement Training. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Grann, M. & Wedin, I. (2002). Risk factors for recidivism among spousal assault and spousal homicide offenders. Psychology, Crime, and Law, 8, 5-23.

Greenfeld, L. (1998). Alcohol and Crime: An Analysis of National Data on the Prevalence of Alcohol Involvement in Crime. Retrieved from

Hagedorn, H., Willenbring, M. (2003). Psychiatric illness among drug court probationers. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse;29 (4):775-88.

Isaac, P., Heatley, M., Savoie, J. (1990)."Rates of Drug Detection in Urine Samples from Various Populations." Clinics in Laboratory Medicine, Vol. 10, No. 2, June 1990.

Kropp, P.R., Hart, S.D., Webster, C.D., & Eaves, D. (1995). Manual for the Spousal Assault Risk Assessment Guide (2nd ed.). Vancouver, Canada: B.C. Institute on Family Violence.

Lee, J. (1999). The Treatment of Psychopathic and Antisocial Personality Disorders: A Review. Clinical Decision Making Support Unit, Broadmoor. Retrieved from

Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, 2008. Substance Use Among Adults on Probation. Retrieved from

Stalans, L, Yarnold, P., Seng, M., Olson, D. & Repp, M. (2004). Identifying Three Types of Violent Offenders and Predicting Violent Recidivism while on Probation: A Classification Tree Analysis. Law and Human Behavior, Vol. 28, No. 3 (Jun. 2004), pp. 253-271.