Risk & Protective Factors for Youth Substance Use Across Family, Peers, School, & Leisure Domains
Background: Adolescent substance use has long been a global public health issue. In this study, we explored developmental contexts that correspond with risk and protective factors associated with adolescent substance use. The developmental contexts of interest are the family domain, school domain, peer domain, and structured leisure domain. The leisure domain is of particular interest as it often corresponds with risk and protective factors different from those associated with the other domains. The purpose of this study was to assess whether the identified domains are associated with adolescent alcohol use and cannabis use.
Methods: This study used previously collected adolescent health and behavior surveillance data from (N = 3,407) 7th-12th graders in a Northeastern state in the fall of 2019. The data were used to assess whether the identified domains are associated with adolescent alcohol use and cannabis use. We analyzed each outcome variable using separate multiple regression models.
Results: In our model, the peer domain, specifically peer substance use behaviors and peer norms, were the strongest factors associated with substance use. Family and structured leisure offered similar levels of protection against substance use.
Conclusions: Implications for utilizing the peer and leisure developmental contexts to prevent adolescent substance use and recommendations for further research and investment are discussed.
Woodward, Tara; Smith, Megan L.; Mann, Michael J.; Kristjansson, Alfgeir; and Morehouse, Holly. (2023). "Risk & Protective Factors for Youth Substance Use Across Family, Peers, School, & Leisure Domains". Children and Youth Services Review, 151, 107027. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2023.107027