Risk factors for adolescent substance abuse and dependence: Data from a national sample

A national household probability sample of 4,023 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years was interviewed by telephone about substance use, victimization experiences, familial substance use, and posttraumatic reactions to identify risk factors for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- (4th ed. ; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) defined substance abuse/dependence. Age and ethnicity data were available for 3,907 participants. Major findings were (a) adolescents who had been physically assaulted, who had been sexually assaulted, who had witnessed violence, or who had family members with alcohol or drug use problems had increased risk for current substance abuse/dependence; (b) posttraumatic stress disorder independently increased risk of marijuana and hard drug abuse/dependence; and (c) when effects of other variables were controlled, African Americans, but not Hispanics or Native Americans, were at approximately 1/3 the risk of substance abuse/dependence as Caucasians.
Kilpatrick,Dean G.
Saunders,Benjamin E.
Resnick,Heidi S.
Best,Connie L.
Schnurr,Paula P.
IL- 4 charts AN- 2916661
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Journal of Consulting Clinical Psychology
This paper reports the results from the National Survey of Adolescents (NSA). The survey (funded by the National Institute of Justice) used a probability sample of 4,023 adolescents aged 12-17 years who were contacted by telephone about their victimization experiences, their substance use, and their families' substance use. Specifically, the data collected included the following variables: age, gender, race, nonexperimental alcohol use, nonexperimental marijuana and hard drug use, age of onset for nonexperimental substance use, sexual and/or physical assault, witnessed violence, familial alcohol problems, familial drug use, and substance abuse/dependence and PTSD (as determined by DSM-IV criteria). Results revealed that more than 10% of the 17-year-old participants demonstrated substance abuse/dependence at the time of the study. Of this group, 7% revealed marijuana abuse/dependence and 2% revealed hard drug abuse/dependence. The total sample of adolescents in the study demonstrated a prevalence of 4% for alcohol and marijuana abuse/dependence. Furthermore, witnessed violence increased the risk of substance use within the previous year. Although PTSD status was not associated with alcohol abuse/dependence, it did represent an increased risk for the use of marijuana and hard drug abuse/dependence. Furthermore, compared to Caucasians
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Adolescent/High School, Alcohol, Prevalence
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