SACA-Not So Brief (revised)

Services Assessment for Children and Adolescents (SACA-C). This computerized interview is a revised version of the Service Assessment for Children and Adolescents (SACA; Stiffman et al., 2000). This measure was developed by the team of researchers in the UNOCCAP Project for NIMH. It assesses the frequency, duration, type, and cost of mental health and social services associated with the child's behavior, substance abuse, and delinquency. It has been adapted to also include school-based and court services.


Beginning in year 11, a revised version of the SACA (SACA-Not So Brief (revised)) was administered. The measure collects parents' reports of their children's use of mental health services. All of the original items were included and some additional information was also collected. The revised version asks whether the child has health care insurance and collects the provider's name when applicable. In addition, the original SACA only recorded whether Fast Track personnel referred the child to a service, whereas the revised version records whether anyone has referred the child to a service. The revised school counseling section divides counseling/services into mental health services and other. It also includes questions about whether school counselors referred the child to additional services outside the school. Finally, the revised police contact section captures whether the juvenile court referred the child to additional services.

Inpatient service providers include:

    1. Psychiatric hospital
    2. General hospital
    3. Residential treatment center
    4. Group home
    5. Foster home
    6. Emergency shelter
    7. Overnight stay in other facility

Outpatient service providers include:

    1. Mental health center
    2. Day treatment or partial hospitalization
    3. Drug and alcohol clinic
    4. In-home therapists or family preservation workers
    5. Respite care
    6. Counselors and therapists
    7. Counseling in school
    8. Emergency room
    9. Pediatrician or family doctor

This new version of the SACA also asks more detailed questions about police contact, including the number of arrests in past 12 months, the number of non-arrest police contacts, the amount of time spent in detention facilities before trial, the number of court appearances, outcomes from court appearances, and the offenses for which the child was adjudicated.

Six dichotomous scales were derived for this measure.

  • Any Inpatient Services for Any Reason Ever
  • Any Inpatient Services for Any Reason Last Year
  • Any Inpatient Services for Mental Health Reasons Last Year
  • Any Outpatient Services for Any Reason Ever
  • Any Outpatient Services for Any Reason Last Year
  • Any Outpatient Services for Mental Health Reasons Last Year

The SACA Not So Brief Revised provides general information on mental health service use. In addition to measuring lifetime service use, it also solicits more detailed information regarding recent service use (i.e., past 12 months). Analysts can examine group differences in degree and pattern of mental health service use as well as examine the relationship between characteristics of service use with predictors from other instruments.

Analysts should examine how many participants positively endorsed receiving services before generating descriptive statistics or using outcomes in statistical models. In general, most items will have a high number of participants who report not receiving any services (i.e., zeros), so examination of individual response distributions is highly advised.

Dataset Names

Raw Dataset Name: PxAH
Scored Dataset Name: MHRySPc


Mental Health Services, Inpatient, Outpatient, Special Education, In-School Services, Hospitalization, Foster Care, Incarceration, Jail, Illegal Activities, Arrest