Validation of the Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (SURPS) with Bulgarian substance dependent individuals

Elizabeth C. Long, Svetla Milcheva, Elena Psederska, Georgi Vasilev, Kiril Bozgunov, Dimitar Nedelchev, Nathan A. Gillespie, Jasmin Vassileva

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Background: The Substance Use Risk Profile Scale (SURPS) is a 23-item self-report questionnaire that assesses four well-validated personality risk factors for substance misuse (Impulsivity, Sensation Seeking, Anxiety Sensitivity, and Hopelessness). While the SURPS has been used extensively with adolescents at risk for substance dependence, its properties with adult substance-dependent populations have been understudied. Further, the validity of the Bulgarian version of the SURPS has not been evaluated. The aims of the present study were to examine the factor structure of the Bulgarian version of the SURPS, its psychometric properties, and its ability to distinguish individuals with substance dependence from healthy controls. Methods: Participants included 238 individuals ages 18 to 50 (45% female): 36 "pure" (i.e., mono-substance dependent) heroin users, 34 "pure" amphetamine users, 32 polysubstance users, 64 controls with no history of substance dependence, 43 unaffected siblings of heroin users, and 29 unaffected siblings of amphetamine users. We explored the factor structure of the Bulgarian version of the SURPS with confirmatory factor analyses, examined its reliability and validity, and tested for group differences between substance dependent and non-dependent groups. Results: Confirmatory factor analyses (CFA) replicated the original four-factor model of the SURPS. The four subscales of the SURPS demonstrated good internal consistency (Cronbach's alphas ranged from 0.71 to 0.85) and adequate concurrent validity. Significant group differences were found on the Impulsivity and Sensation Seeking subscales, with the three substance dependent groups scoring higher than controls. Conclusions: The SURPS is a valid instrument for measuring personality risk for substance use disorders in the Bulgarian population. The Bulgarian version of the SURPS demonstrates adequate to good reliability, concurrent validity, and predictive validity. Its ability to distinguish between groups with and without a history of substance dependence was specific to externalizing traits such as Impulsivity and Sensation Seeking, on which opiate, stimulant, and polysubstance dependent individuals scored higher than non-dependent controls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2296
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberNOV
StatePublished - Nov 26 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


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