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Impulse Control Moderates the Association between Substance Use and Substance Use-related Consequences Among Justice-system-involved Youth

NCJ Number
Applied Developmental Science Volume: Online Dated: September 2023
Date Published
September 2023

This article reports on a study examining whether the extent to which youth experienced consequences of substance use was related to lower levels of impulse control; it notes research results and implications for treatment and intervention efforts.


This study examined whether the extent to which youth experience consequences resulting from substance use was related to their impulse control. Longitudinal data are from 1,216 justice-system-involved male adolescents from the Crossroads Study (46% Latino, 37% Black, 15% White, and 2% self-identified another race). Results indicate that youth lower in impulse control were more likely to experience negative social, school/work, offending, legal, and physical consequences related to their substance use than youth higher in impulse control-even when comparing youth who used substances at the same frequency. The current results suggest that in addition to addressing substance use itself, treatment and intervention efforts could also target problems in impulse control to reduce the extent of the consequences that youth experience from using substances. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: September 1, 2023