Recanting substance use over time


Broman, Michael J.; Bista, Shikha; & Broman, Clifford L. (2022). Recanting substance use over time. Journal of Substance Use. pp. 1-6


Objectives To examine whether recanting exists, and if it varies for alcohol, smoking and marijuana use. We also examine the role of memory and salience of memories in recanting.Methods Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health are utilized in this secondary analysis. This is a longitudinal nationally representative study of U.S. individuals who have participated in five waves of interviews, starting in adolescence in 1994-1995 (Wave 1) and ending with the most recent wave (2016-2019) where respondents were aged 33-44 (Wave 5). We assess recanting from waves 4 to 5.Results We found substantial recanting across years. All three substances studied, alcohol use, smoking and marijuana use were recanted over time. Significant demographic variables associated with recanting are race-ethnicity, education and memory. Prior alcohol use also has impact.Conclusions The present study shows that recanting of substance use is substantial, and that race-ethnicity, education and memory measures are correlates of recanting. This has implications for survey studies that use substance use measures, as on any given cross-sectional survey, some respondents will underestimate or not report use of a substance used in the past.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Journal of Substance Use


Broman, Michael J.
Bista, Shikha
Broman, Clifford L.

Year Published








Reference ID