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Risk and Protective Factors for Adolescent Drug Use:
Findings from the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse

Highlights

This report presents detailed information about risk and protective factors for substance use among youths aged 12 to 17, using data from the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA). Risk factors include those individual characteristics or social environments associated with an increased likelihood of substance use, while protective factors are related to decreased likelihood of substance use or of nonuse. These analyses update and expand upon a previous report on risk and protective factors for adolescent drug use based on the 1997 NHSDA.

The classification approach used in this report categorizes the set of risk and protective factors into one of four domains based on categories developed by the Social Development Research Group, School of Social Work, University of Washington, in Seattle: community, family, peer/individual, and school. The community domain includes such factors as community disorganization and crime and the availability of illicit drugs. The family domain includes such factors as parental attitudes toward youth substance use and parental communication with youths about the dangers of substance use. The peer/individual domain includes such factors as antisocial behavior and friends' use of licit and illicit drugs. The school domain includes such factors as sanctions against substance use at school and exposure to prevention messages in school. Most of these items were designed for and asked only of the 12 to 17 year olds in the sample and focused on current or past year perceptions or behavior. Findings in this report are grouped by prevention domain where possible.

Chapter 2: Distributions of Risk and Protective Factors for Substance Use

Community Domain

Family Domain

Peer/Individual Domain

School Domain

Chapter 3: Associations Between Risk and Protective Factors and Past Year Marijuana Use

There were strong associations between most of the risk and protective factors and past year marijuana use. Even after adjusting for differences due to gender, race/ethnicity, household income, number of parents in the household, county size, and geographic region, most of the risk and protective factors still displayed the expected association with past year marijuana use.

Community Domain

Family Domain

Peer/Individual Domain

School Domain

Associations with Marijuana Use, by Race/Ethnicity and Gender

Even though the risk and protective factors displayed the expected associations with past year marijuana use after adjusting for differences in age, race/ethnicity, and gender, the strength of the associations between some of the risk and protective factors and past year marijuana use varied by these characteristics.

Chapter 4: Prediction of Past Year Substance Use Using Multiple Regression Models

The associations presented in this chapter were determined using multiple regression models that adjusted for demographic variables as well as for other risk and protective factors. In addition, this chapter addresses the usefulness of hierarchical modeling techniques in explaining variation in past year marijuana use.

Chapter 5: Change in Risk and Protective Factors Between 1997 and 1999

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This page was last updated on July 17, 2008.