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Investigating the Effects of Peer Association and Parental Influence on Adolescent Substance Use: A Study of Adolescents in South Korea

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 38 Issue: 1 Dated: January/February 2010 Pages: 17-24
Eunyoung Kim; Dae-Hoon Kwak; Minwoo Yun
Date Published
January 2010
8 pages
The central purpose of this study was to examine whether peer influence has a greater impact on adolescent substance use than parental influence.
This was a comparative study that examined cross-cultural applicability by applying the established findings and theoretical suggestions, such as social learning theory and social bonding theory in the United States, to a traditionally non-Western social context (South Korea). Although the theories have firmly established their explicability on adolescent delinquency and substance use in U.S. society, there are relatively few empirical studies to establish its generalizability in societies outside the United States, and even fewer in such traditionally non-Western societies as South Korea. Using a nationwide sample of self-reported data from 3,188 junior high school students, estimations from multivariate analyses were used to compare the relative importance of peer and parental influence on adolescent substance (alcohol and tobacco) use. The findings from the current study supported both social learning theory and social bonding theory, suggesting that both peer and parental influence are significant in predicting the risks of adolescent substance use. Although parental influence was slightly greater than peer factors, the difference was negligible. The limitations, the unique social context of Korean society, and future research implications are then discussed. Tables, appendix, notes, and references (Published Abstract)