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Explaining Adolescent Drug Use in Adjacent Generations: Testing the Generality of Theoretical Explanations

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 46 Issue: 4 Dated: 2017 Pages: 373-395
Marvin D. Krohn; Thomas A. Loughran; Terence P. Thornberry
Date Published
23 pages
This study tested the assumption that theories of drug use can account for behavior across varying contexts and populations by examining whether control, learning, and elaborated theories provide similar explanations for adolescent drug use in adjacent generations.
The study used data from the Rochester Youth Development Study and Rochester Intergenerational Study, which followed a sample of adolescents starting at age 14 who were the oldest biological child. Cross-generational analysis between theoretical variables measured at age 14 and drug use measured at approximately ages 15 and 16 were used. Regression models that tested for each theoretical framework found that generally they appear to operate similarly in adjacent generations. researchers conducted 14 tests of equality for pairs of coefficients across the generations; no statistically significant differences were observed. Overall, these theories offer general explanations for adolescent drug use with respect to risk and protective factors for parents and their children. Theoretical and policy implications are discussed. (Publisher abstract modified)