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Social Self-control, Sensation Seeking and Substance Use in Samples of US and Russian Adolescents

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Objective: To compare the relations of social self-control and sensation seeking with substance use across samples of US and Russian adolescents.

Methods: Cross-sectional data were obtained from 362 tenth-graders from Ufa, Russia, and 965 tenth-graders from California.

Results: Lack of social self-control was significantly related with higher alcohol and hard drug use in the Russian sample and higher cigarette use in the US sample. Higher sensation-seeking showed significant associations with higher cigarette and alcohol use in the Russian sample and higher alcohol, marijuana, and hard drug use in the US sample.

Conclusion: As with US adolescents, prevention programs for Russian adolescents may also benefit from being tailored to higher sensation-seekers and including self-control skills training.

Keywords: adolescents; sensation seeking; social self-control; substance use

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, University of Southern California, Alhambra, CA.

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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  • 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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