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Social Influences on Adolescent Substance Use

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Objectives : To assess the overtime relationships between adolescent and peer substance use and parenting practices.

Methods : Five times from sixth to ninth grade, students (n=2453) in 7 middle schools reported smoking, drinking, and marijuana use; the number of substance-using friends; and parent practices. Relationships were assessed using latent growth curve modeling.

Results : Adolescent substance use predicted the growth in substance-using friends, and substance-using friends predicted adolescent use, except for smoking. The negative over-time relationship between parenting practices and adolescent substance use was mediated by the growth in the number of substance-using friends.

Conclusions : The results are consistent with both selection and socialization effects and provide evidence of the protective effects of positive parenting practices.

Keywords: latent growth curve modeling; mediation; parenting; peer influence; selection; socialization

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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