Exploring the Relationship between Risk & Protective Factors and Substance use During Adolescence

Redman, Ashlee
LaJeunesse, Denise
Blalock, Bonnie
The focus of our study is to explore risk and protective factors involved with adolescent substance use. The risk and protective factors that are highlighted in this study are peer relationships and parental involvement. For the purpose of this study, adolescence is defined as children between grades 6th-12th. Peer relationships are operationalized through direct and indirect contact while parental involvement is operationalized through the adolescent's general health as well as family dynamics and the composite score of frequency of student's parental academic and extra-curricular activity involvement. Information for this study was gathered through a secondary data source titled Health Behavior in School Age Children 2001-2002 (#04372). Thousands of adolescents throughout the United States and in several other countries completed surveys for the study of health behavior in school age children. We anticipate finding a correlation between limited parental involvement and adolescent substance use. In addition, we anticipate finding a correlation between negative or indirect peer relationships and adolescent substance use. These factors identify the need to continue to explore their relationship with adolescent substance use and may assist with the implementation of early intervention/prevention programs.
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