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Social and Religious Factors in Adolescents' Drug Use

NCJ Number
Jounal of Child and Adolesscent Substance Abuse Volume: 18 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2009 Pages: 85-92
Sandra C. Jones; John R. Rossiter
Date Published
January 2009
8 pages
This study tested several types of anti-cannabis messages to explain why preintervention substance usage rates varied between schools in Australia.
Results found that the Australian State school students reported a usage incidence rate for cannabis that was close to the national incidence rates, whereas the Christian school students’ usage was far lower than the national incidence rate. Analysis found that the State school students responded with conventional interpretations of the antidrug information presented to them. The Christian school students, on the other hand, volunteered responses that were unrelated to the information presented to them but rather emphasized the important preventive functions of social support and religious values. This is consistent with previous research on uptake of tobacco smoking and drug use among young people. A study of smoking trajectories between adolescence and adulthood in African-Americans found that nonsmokers were more likely than smokers to have strict parental rules regarding drug use and were more likely to attend church frequently. The researchers concluded that social integration with families and church involvement acted as protective factors for smoking uptake through adolescence and early adulthood. Support for this life-course perspective was also found in a recent study of cocaine where social ties to family, school, and religion acted as a protective factor both for uptake and cessation. Data were collected from 48 Australian ninth grade students, aged 14 to 15 years, enrolled in a State government school and 61 students enrolled in a private non-denominational Christian school; both were located in low to middle socioeconomic areas. References


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