Delinquent Activities Scale (DAS)


The Delinquent Activities Scale (DAS) , based in part on the Self-Reported Delinquency Scale (SRD) (Elliott, Ageton, Huizanga, Knowles, & Canter, 1983),  is designed to assess specific delinquent offenses and the contribution of alcohol and marijuana to these occurrences. It is composed of 40 items which describe a variety of misbehaviors and ask the respondent to indicate whether they have ever engaged in the behavior, their age the first and last time they engaged in the behavior, if they have ever engaged in the behavior without drugs or alcohol being involved, how many times the behavior has occurred, and how many times alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs have been involved. The DAS also assesses the respondent’s remorse by asking if they were satisfied with their actions and if they would do the same thing again in a similar situation. Subscales of the DAS include predatory aggression, stealing and generalized delinquency, stealing and impulsive delinquency, and drug dealing and aggressive behavior.


Reavy et al. (2012) have examined and described the psychometric properties of the DAS.

Author of Tool:

Reavy, Stein, Paiva, Quina, & Rossi

Key references:

Reavy, R., Stein, L. A. R., Paiva, A., Quina, K., & Rossi, J. S. (2012). Validation of the delinquent activities scale for incarcerated adolescents. Addictive Behaviors37, 875-879.

Elliott, D. S., Ageton, S. S., Huizinga, D., Knowles, B. A., & Canter, R. J. (1983). The prevalence and incidence of delinquent behavior: 1976–1980 (National Youth Survey Report No. 26). Boulder, CO: Behavioral Research Institute.Dembo, R., & Schmeidler, J. (2003). A classification of high-risk use. Crime & Delinquency49, 201–230.  Dembo, R., Walters, W., & Meyers, K. (2005). A practice/research collaborative: An innovative approach to identifying and responding to psychosocial functioning problems and recidivism risk among juvenile arrestees. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation41, 39–66. Elliott, D. S., Huizinga, D., & Ageton, S. (1985). Explaining delinquency and drug use. Beverly Hills: Sage Publications. Huizinga, D. (1991). Assessing violent behavior with self-reports. In J. S. Milner (Ed.), Neuropsychology of aggression (pp. 44–76). Boston: Kluwer Academic. Huizinga, D., & Esbensen, F. (1988). Common measures of the program of research on the causes and correlates of delinquency. Report to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Washington DC: Huizinga.

Primary use / Purpose:

The DAS assesses the number of times misbehaviors have occurred over the past year, the number of times that alcohol or marijuana were involved in those occurrences, and the age when these misbehaviors were first and last committed.



Have you ever done any of the following activities?  “Number of times alcohol or drugs were involved, ” means you were on alcohol or drugs at the time or you were doing the activity in order to get alcohol or drugs to take.

                                                                Age first                Age last                 Ever done             No. of times          No. of times                          No. of times                          No. of times

                                                                did this                   did this                   without                  ever                        ever happened                     ever happened                     ever happened

                                                                                                                                alc./drugs               happened              with alcohol                          with marijuana                    with another

                                                                                                                                involved                                                involved                                involved                                drug involved

  1. Stolen (or tried to steal) a motor vehicle, such as a car or motorcycle.
  2. Stolen (or tried to steal) something worth more than $50.
  3. Knowingly bought, stole, or held stolen goods (or tried to do any of these things).
  4. Carried a hidden weapon other than a plain pocketknife.
  5. Stolen (or tried to steal) something worth $5 or less.
  6. Attacked someone with the idea of seriously hurting or killing him/her.
  7. Been paid for having sexual relations with someone.
  8. Been involved in gang fights.
  9. Sold marijuana or hashish (pot, grass, hash).
  10. Hit (or threatened to hit) a teacher or other adult at school.
  11. Hit (or threatened to hit) your parents.
  12. Hit (or threatened to hit) other students.
  13. Been loud, rowdy or unruly in a public place (disorderly conduct).
  14. Sold cocaine or crack.
  15. Sold hard drugs such as heroin or LSD.
  16. Taken a vehicle for a ride (drive) without the owner’s permission.
  17. Had (or tried to have) sexual relations with someone against their will.
  18. Used force (strong-arm methods) to get money or things from other students.
  19. Used force (strong-arm methods) to get money or things from a teacher or other adult at school.
  20. Used force (strong-arm methods) to get money or things from other people (not students/teachers).
  21. Stolen (or tried to steal) things worth between $5 and $50.
  22. Broke into a building or vehicle (or tried to break in) to steal something or just look around.
  23. Begged for money or things from strangers.
  24. Was arrested.
  25. Bullied, threatened or intimidated others.
  26. Initiated physical fights.
  27. Used a weapon (bat, brick, broken bottle, knife, gun).
  28. Been physically cruel to animals.
  29. Been physically cruel to people.
  30. Set fires with the intention of causing serious damage.
  31. Destroyed others’ property on purpose (not by fire setting).
  32. Lied to obtain goods or favors or to avoid obligations (cons others).
  33. Stayed out at night despite house rules not to.
  34. Ran away from home overnight.
  35. Skipped school.
  36. Could not pay bills (loans, child support, etc.).
  37. Done something (left school, a job, etc.) before thinking of what might happen if you did it (had no other plans).
  38. Got in trouble at work, was late for work, or missed work.
  39. Engaging in activities that could be dangerous to yourself or others (speeding, etc.).
  40. Of the things we just discussed (theft, damaging others’ property, fighting, etc.), do you feel that you did the right thing and would do the same thing again if you were in the same situations (check one)?

                ___Not appropriate (rare to check this one!)                                  ___Probably do the same (probable lack of remorse)

                ___No, definitely not (definite remorse)                                         ___Definitely the same (definite lack of remorse)

                ___No, probably not (probable remorse)