Patterns of Alcohol Use Among Adolescents
and Associations with
Emotional and Behavioral Problems

Janet C. Greenblatt
Office of Applied Studies
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
 

OAS Working Paper

March, 2000

Introduction

Of the nearly 8,000 drivers ages 15-20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes in 1996, 21.2 percent had been drinking, and 13.8 percent were legally intoxicated (NHTSA 1998).

People who begin drinking before age 15 are four times as likely to develop alcohol dependence and more than twice as likely to develop alcohol abuse than those who delay drinking until age 21 (Grant and Dawson 1997).


Surveys of adolescents suggest that alcohol use is associated with risky sexual behavior and increased vulnerability to coercive sexual activity.

A survey focusing on alcohol-related problems of high school seniors and dropouts found that in 1996, about 80 percent reported either getting drunk, engaging in binge drinking, or drinking and driving. More than half said that drinking had caused them to feel sick, miss school or work, get arrested, or have a car crash (Ellickson).

This report provides data showing the relationship between the emotional state, health and behaviors and alcohol use. The data cannot be used to prove a causal relationship because they are not longitudinal, but examining correlations of frequency of alcohol use with problems provides some evidence that an increase in the amount consumed is associated with problem behaviors.

Methods

Data Source

In 1995, adolescents were asked if they had done certain activities that may be against the law such as taking something from a store without paying for it, purposely damaging or destroying property that did not belong to them, hitting someone or getting into a physical fight, or selling any illegal drugs. In 1995 and 1996, adolescents were also asked if, during the past year, they had ever been arrested and booked for breaking the law, were on probation, or drove under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.

Definitions and Statistical Analysis

Results

Characteristics of Past Month Alcohol Drinkers

4 percent of 12 year old, 28 percent of 16 year old, and 35 percent of 17 year old adolescents were current drinkers (Table 1).

Of those who were current alcohol drinkers (Table 2), the majority of 12 to 16 year old adolescents were light drinkers, drinking fewer than 5 drinks on any one occasion.

Among 17 year old adolescents who used alcohol in the past month (Table 2), about half were binge drinkers or heavy drinkers (32% and 18% respectively).

About 80 percent of binge and heavy drinkers were white, while only 67% of non-drinkers were white. About 13 percent of non-drinkers were black, compared to only 7% of binge drinkers and 5% of heavy drinkers (Table 3).

Sixty-nine percent of heavy alcohol drinkers were male, while fewer than half of those who were light drinkers were male (Table 3)

Nearly one third of heavy drinkers (32 percent) lived in non-metropolitan areas, while only 23 percent of light drinkers lived in non-metropolitan areas (Table 3).

Heavy drinkers were more likely to live in the south (40 percent) than were binge drinkers (31 percent) (Table 3).

Adolescent binge and heavy drinkers were more likely to have moved 2 or more times in the past year (4 percent and 6 percent, respectively) than those who did not drink in the past month or were light drinkers (1.3 and 2.5% respectively) (Table 3).

Heavy drinkers were 16 times more likely, binge drinkers were 13 times more likely, and light drinkers were nearly 8 times more likely than non-drinkers to have used an illicit drug in the past month (Table 4).

Problem Behaviors Associated With Alcohol Use

twice as likely to say their school work is poor (49.2% for heavy drinkers, 44.7% for binge drinkers, and 27.5% for non-drinkers) (Table 10),

4 to 6 times more likely to say they cut classes or skipped school (54.7% for heavy drinkers, 40.8% for binge drinkers, and 9.9% for non-drinkers) (Table 11),

3 times more likely to say they deliberately try to hurt or kill themselves (14.9%, 11.7% and 4.4%) and twice as likely to say they think about killing themselves (19.3%, 18.6% and 7.9%) (Table 7).

Aggressive and Delinquent Behaviors

3 to 5 times more likely to say they ran away from home (18.1%, 9.7% and 3.7%) (Table 11),

3 to 4 times more likely to say they steal from places other than home (24.3%, 18.3% and 6.1%) (Table 11),

2 to 3 times more likely to say they destroy things that belong to others (18.5%, 11.4% and 6.7%), that they threaten to hurt people (38.8%, 25.5%, and 12.3%), and that they physically attack people (21.5%, 14.8%, and 6.5%) (Table 12).

Past Year Criminal Behaviors

Heavy alcohol drinkers were 3 times more likely and binge and light drinkers were 2 times more likely than non-drinkers to have gotten into a physical fight (46.5%, 37.3%, 29.5%, 15.2%, respectively).

Heavy and binge alcohol drinkers were 4 times more likely and light drinkers were 3 times more likely than non-drinkers to say they took something from a store without paying for it (33.2%, 27.3%, 20.9%, and 7.7%, respectively).

Heavy drinkers were the most likely to report having been on probation in the past year (19.0% for heavy, 6.8% for binge, 4.9% for light, and 1.5% for non-drinkers) and the most likely to report ever having been arrested and booked for breaking the law (27.7% for heavy, 17.3% for binge, 9.9% for light, and 3.7% for non-drinkers).

Heavy drinkers were 5 times more likely and binge drinkers were nearly 3 times more likely than light drinkers to say they drove under the influence of alcohol (32.0%, 16.2% and 6.3%, respectively).

Heavy drinkers were 4 times more likely and binge drinkers were 2 times more likely than light drinkers to say they drove under the influence of drugs in the past year (18.4%, 12.4% and 5.2%, respectively).

Correlation Between Emotional and Behavioral Problems and Patterns of Alcohol Use

Adolescents' Scores and Substance Use

Discussion

Some of the relationships shown may have been due to confounding factors such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, family structure, income, mobility, and past month marijuana use. Logistic regression analyses provided evidence that, even after controlling for these variables, there was a relationship between past month alcohol use and emotional and behavioral problems. The relationships were particularly strong among heavy and binge alcohol use and delinquent, aggressive, and criminal behaviors.

References

1) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (1999). NHSDA Series: H-9. Results from the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Office of Applied Studies, August 1999.

2) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). "1996 Youth Fatal Crash and Alcohol Facts,", June 30, 1998.

3) Grant, B.F. and Dawson, D.A. (1997) Age at onset of alcohol use and its association with DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence. Journal of Substance Abuse 9:1003-110.

4) Presley, C.A., Meilman, P.D., Cashin, J.R., and Leichliter, J.S. Alcohol and Drugs on American College Campuses: Issues of Violence and Harrassment: A Report to College Presidents. The Core Institute, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1997, p. 5

5) Bailey, S.L, Pollock, N.K., Martin, C.S., Lynch, K.G. (In press). Risky sexual behaviors among adolescents with alcohol use disorders. Journal of Adolescent Health.
6) Windle, M. Substance use, risky behaviors, and victimization among a US national adolescent sample. Addiction 89:175-182, 1994.

7) Ellickson, P.L., et al. Teenagers and alcohol misuse in the United States: By any definition, it's a big problem. Addiction 91(10):1489-1503, 1996.

8) National Institute on Drug Abuse (1997). Press Release for the Monitoring the Future Study, The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, December 1997.

9) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (1997b). 1996 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Preliminary Tables (Unpublished). Office of Applied Studies, June 1997.

10) Schwartz, R.H., Gruenewald, P.J., Klitzner, M., and Fedio, P. (1989) Short-term memory impairment in cannabis-dependent adolescents. American J. of Diseases of the Child 1989; 143:1214-1219.

11) Tashkin, D.P., Coulson, A.H., Clark, V.A., et al. Respiratory system and lung function in habitual, heavy smokers of marijuana alone, smokers of marijuana and tobacco, smokers of tobacco alone, and nonsmokers. Am Rev Respir Dis 1987; 135:209-216.

12) National Institute on Drug Abuse (1995) Marijuana: Facts Parents Should know. Booklet NCADI #PHD712, GPO#017-024-01570-0.

13) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (1998). Drug Abuse Series: H-5. National Household Survey on Drug Abuse Main Findings 1996, Office of Applied Studies, May 1998.

14) Pope, HG Jr, Yurgelun-Todd, D. The residual cognitive effects of heavy marijuana use in college students. JAMA 1996 Feb 21; 275(7): 521-7.

15) Volkow, N.D., Ding, Y.-S., Fowler, J.S., & Wang, G.-J. 1996. Cocaine Addiction: Hypothesis Derived from Imaging Studies with PET. J. Addictive Diseases, 1996.

16) Bourden, H., Rae, D., Narrow, W., Manderscheid, R., and Regier, D., National Prevalence and Treatment of Mental and Addictive Disorders, Mental Health, United States, Center for Mental Health Services, DHHS Pub. No. (SMA)92-1942 (1992).

17) Kandel, D.B., Johnson, J.G., Bird, H.R., Canino, G., Goodman, S.H., Lahey, B.B., Regier, D.A., and Schwab-Stone, M. Psychiatric Disorders Associated with Substance Use Among Children and Adolescents: Findings from the Methods for the Epidemiology of Child and Adolescent Mental Disorders (MECA) Study. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 1997, 25(2), pp. 121-132.

18) Kessler, R.C., Nelson, C.B., McGongle, K.A., Edlund, M.J., Frank, R.G., and Leaf, P.J., The Epidemiology of Co-occurring Addictive and Mental Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey: Implications for Prevention and Service Utilization. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 66:17-31 (1996).

19) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (1996). Advance Report 15. Mental Health Estimates from the 1994 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Office of Applied Studies, July 1996.

20) Crowley, T (1998). Troubled Teens Risk Rapid Dependence on Marijuana. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 50:1.

21) Achenbach, T.M., (1991) Manual for the youth Self-Report and 1991 profile. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry.

22) Harrell, A.V., Kapsak, K.A., Cisin, I.H., and Wirtz, P.W. (1986). The Validity of Self-Reported Drug Use Data: The Accuracy of Responses on Confidential Self-Administered Answer Sheets. Prepared for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Contract Number 271-85-8305.

23) Turner, C.F., Lessler, J.T., and Gfroerer, J.C. (1992). Survey Measurement of Drug Use: Methodological Studies. National Institute on Drug Abuse. DHHS Pub. No. (ADM) 92-1929.

24) Gfroerer, J.C., Wright, D., and Kopstein, A. (1997). Prevalence of youth substance use: the impact of methodological differences between two national surveys. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 47 (1997) 19-30.

Table 1: Percent Distribution of Respondents Age 12 to 17 by Pattern of Alcohol Use in Past Month and Age, 1994-1996
 


Source: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse

Table 2: Percent Distribution of Current Alcohol Users Age 12-17 by Pattern of Use and Age, 1994-1996
 

Table 3: Frequency Distribution of Respondents 12-17 by Pattern of Alcohol Use and by Selected Demographic Characteristics: 1994-1996
 

 

Pattern of Alcohol Use

Heavy Binge Light No Use

Estimated Number
(Sample Size)

594,000
(813)

1,062,000
(1,231)

2,328,000
(2,398)

17,627,000
(13,379)

 

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Age

       

12-13

4.8

7.0

13.9

38.4

14-15

32.0

31.1

37.1

34.8

16-17

63.2

62.0

49.0

26.8

Race

       

White

78.3

80.5

72.8

66.6

Black

6.9

5.9

13.2

15.2

Hispanic

11.4

11.3

11.6

12.9

Other

3.5

2.4

2.4

5.3

Gender

       

Male

68.6

56.2

47.5

50.7

Female

31.4

43.8

52.5

49.3

Population Density

       

Metro Area 1 Million or more

36.8

38.3

41.7

41.3

Metro Area < 1 Million

31.5

35.3

35.3

34.5

Non Metro Area

31.8

26.4

23

24.2

Table 3 continued: Frequency Distribution of Respondents 12-17 by Pattern of Alcohol Use and by Selected Demographic Characteristics: 1994-1996
 

Source: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse

Table 4: Percentage of Adolescent Respondents Reporting Past Month Use of Illicit Drugs

Source: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse

Table 5: Percentage and 95% Confidence Interval for Adolescents Age 12-17 Reporting Withdrawal Complaints in the Past 6 Months by Pattern of Alcohol Use, 1994-1996
 

WITHDRAWAL COMPLAINTS

Pattern of Alcohol Use
Percent saying "Somewhat true or very or often true"

(Sample Size )

Heavy
(813)

Binge
(1,231)

Light
(2,398)

No Use
(13,379)

Would rather be alone than with others

31.7(26.3-38.4)

35.3(30.9-40.2)

32.5(29.6-35.5)

29.0(28.0-30.1)

I refuse to talk

22.4(17.7-28.4)

17.7(14.5-21.7)

19.6(17.2-22.3)

15.5(14.7-16.4)

I am secretive or keep things to myself

51.0(45.0-57.8)

55.7(51.1-60.7)

54.7(51.6-57.9)

48.1(46.9-49.2)

I am shy

36.7(30.9-43.4)

37.7(33.3-42.6)

45.5(42.4-48.8)

49.5(48.4-50.7)

I don't have much energy

31.2(25.8-37.8)

33.2(29.1-38.0)

31.2(28.4-34.2)

24.1(23.2-25.2)

I keep from getting involved with others

35.3(29.8-41.7)

39.7(35.2-44.8)

39.4(36.4-42.6)

36.5(35.4-37.6)

I am unhappy, sad, or depressed

34.6(28.9-41.3)

30.5(26.4-35.3)

31.8(28.9-34.9)

21.7(20.7-22.6)

Source: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

Table 6: Percentage and 95% Confidence Interval for Adolescents Age 12-17 Reporting Somatic Complaints in the Past 6 Months by Pattern of Alcohol Use in Past Month, 1994-1996
 

SOMATIC COMPLAINTS

Pattern of Alcohol Use
Percent saying "Somewhat true or very or often true"

 

Heavy

Binge

Light

No Use

I feel dizzy

26.9(21.5-33.6)

23.7(19.8-28.4)

19.8(17.4-22.6)

15.1(14.3-16.0)

I feel overtired

42.4(36.5-49.2)

44.5(40.0-49.6)

45.0(42.0-48.3)

33.2(32.1-34.3)

I have aches and pains

35.8(30.2-42.5)

36.9(32.5-41.7)

35.6(32.7-38.8)

27.3(26.3-28.4)

I have headaches

49.2(43.2-56.0)

52.7(48.1-57.7)

55.5(52.4-58.7)

47.1(46.0-48.3)

I feel nausea or sick

27.1(21.8-33.6)

32.8(28.6-37.6)

30.0(27.2-33.0)

22.2(21.3-23.2)

I have problems with my eyes

31.4(25.8-38.2)

34.3(30.0-39.3)

27.1(24.4-30.0)

22.6(21.7-23.6)

I have rashes or other skin problems

16.2(11.8-22.2)

15.5(12.6-19.2)

16.2(14.1-18.7)

13.5(12.7-14.3)

I have stomach aches or cramps

32.9(27.4-39.5)

38.5(34.1-43.5)

40.2(37.2-43.4)

33.2(32.1-34.3)

I have trouble with vomiting/throwing up

14.8(10.8-20.3)

14.0(11.0-17.9)

12.8(10.8-15.1)

9.6(8.9-10.3)

Source: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

Table 7: Percentage and 95% Confidence Interval for Adolescents Age 12-17 Reporting Anxiety/Depression in the Past 6 Months by Pattern of Alcohol Use in Past Month, 1994-1996
 

ANXIETY/DEPRESSION

Pattern of Alcohol Use/Percent saying "Somewhat, very, often true"

 

Heavy

Binge

Light

No Use

I feel lonely

39.6(33.8-46.5)

44.8(40.2-49.8)

41.6(38.6-44.9)

31.8(30.8-33.0)

I cry a lot

24.9(19.9-31.2)

26.1(22.2-30.6)

28.1(25.5-31.1)

21.8(20.8-22.7)

I deliberately try to hurt or kill myself.

14.9(10.8-20.6)

11.7 (9.1-15.2)

10.7 (8.9-12.9)

4.4 (3.9-4.9)

I am afraid I might think/do something bad.

19.7(15.2-25.5)

23.1(19.5-27.4)

22.7(20.2-25.5)

22.6(21.6-23.6)

I feel that I have to be perfect.

34.6(29.0-41.4)

32.1(28.0-36.8)

29.8(27.0-32.9)

32.2(31.1-33.3)

I feel that no one loves me.

20.9(16.2-27.0)

20.2(16.7-24.4)

20.7(18.2-23.5)

12.1(11.4-12.9)

I feel that others are out to get me.

24.6(19.7-30.9)

21.6(18.0-25.9)

20.4(18.0-23.2)

13.4(12.6-14.2)

I feel worthless or inferior.

18.1(13.6-24.1)

16.7(13.5-20.6)

16.5(14.2-19.1)

10.4 (9.7-11.1)

I am nervous or tense.

46.6(40.7-53.5)

44.0(39.5-49.1)

44.6(41.5-47.8)

38.7(37.6-39.9)

I am too fearful or anxious.

26.6(21.2-33.4)

19.3(15.9-23.5)

25.1(22.4-28.0)

20.0(19.1-20.9)

I feel too guilty.

19.7(15.0-25.7)

18.0(14.9-21.9)

16.8(14.6-19.4)

13.8(13.0-14.6)

I am self-conscious/easily embarrassed.

33.6(28.2-40.1)

40.6(36.1-45.6)

46.9(43.9-50.2)

40.8(39.7-41.9)

I am suspicious.

55.3(49.3-62.0)

50.8(46.2-55.9)

47.8(44.7-51.0)

42.5(41.3-43.6)

I think about killing myself.

19.3(14.7-25.4)

18.6(15.2-22.9)

18.2(15.9-20.9)

7.9 (7.3-8.5)

I feel unhappy, sad or depressed.

34.6(28.9-41.3)

30.5(26.4-35.3)

31.8(28.9-34.9)

21.7(20.7-22.6)

I worry a lot.

48.6(42.6-55.4)

46.1(41.5-51.1)

47.3(44.3-50.6)

42.4(41.2-43.5)

Source: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

Table 8: Percentage and 95% Confidence Interval for Adolescents Age 12-17 Reporting Social Problems in the Past 6 Months by Pattern of Alcohol Use in Past Month, 1994-1996
 

SOCIAL PROBLEMS

Pattern of Alcohol Use
Percent saying "Somewhat true or very or often true"

 

Heavy

Binge

Light

No Use

I act too young for my age.

27.6(22.5-33.7)

27.0(23.1-31.6)

32.9(30.0-36.0)

36.6(35.4-37.7)

I am too dependent on adults.

32.0(26.5-38.5)

30.6(26.6-35.1)

33.6(30.8-36.8)

33.7(32.6-34.8)

I don't get along with other kids.

23.5(18.7-29.4)

24.9(21.0-29.5)

23.1(20.6-25.9)

18.4(17.5-19.3)

I get teased a lot.

21.4(16.6-27.6)

16.2(13.1-20.1)

23.2(20.7-26.1)

24.1(23.1-25.1)

I am not liked by other kids.

17.2(13.1-22.5)

15.7(12.5-19.6)

19.4(17.0-22.1)

17.8(17.0-18.7)

I am poorly coordinated or clumsy.

23.1(18.3-29.2)

22.7(19.0-27.2)

22.6(20.0-25.5)

18.8(17.9-19.7)

I prefer younger kids as friends.

16.4(12.1-22.2)

15.4(12.3-19.3)

19.0(16.6-21.7)

22.0(21.0-22.9)

Source: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

Table 9: Percentage and 95% Confidence Interval for Adolescents Age 12-17 Reporting Thought Problems in the Past 6 Months by Pattern of Alcohol Use in Past Month, 1994-1996
 

THOUGHT PROBLEMS

Pattern of Alcohol Use
Percent saying "Somewhat true or very or often true"

 

Heavy

Binge

Light

No Use

I can't get my mind off certain thoughts.

74.7(69.5-80.4)

79.2(75.3-83.2)

76.7(74.1-79.4)

62.5(61.4-63.6)

I hear things that others don't hear.

19.4(14.8-25.4)

11.6 (9.1-14.7)

12.5(10.6-14.8)

9.4 (8.8-10.1)

I repeat certain actions over and over.

34.0(28.5-40.7)

31.9(27.7-36.7)

31.8(29.0-35.0)

24.8(23.8-25.8)

I see things other people think are not there.

11.2 (7.8-16.2)

9.8 (7.4-13.0)

10.8 (9.0-12.9)

8.4 (7.7-9.0)

I store up things I don't need.

38.0(32.3-44.8)

41.2(36.8-46.1)

45.7(42.7-49.0)

43.9(42.7-45.1)

I do things other people think are strange.

46.5(40.6-53.4)

46.0(41.5-51.1)

46.7(43.7-50.0)

38.4(37.3-39.6)

I have thoughts people would think are strange.

43.6(37.7-50.3)

46.5(41.9-51.5)

44.8(41.7-48.0)

32.8(31.7-33.9)

Source: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

Table 10: Percentage and 95% Confidence Interval for Adolescents Age 12-17 Reporting Attention Problems in the Past 6 Months by Pattern of Alcohol Use in Past Month, 1994-1996
 

ATTENTION PROBLEMS

Pattern of Alcohol Use
Percent saying "Somewhat true or very or often true"

 

Heavy

Binge

Light

No Use

I act young for my age.

27.6(22.5-33.7)

27.0(23.1-31.6)

32.9(30.0-36.0)

36.6(35.4-37.7)

I have trouble concentrating.

62.1(56.2-68.7)

64.6(60.2-69.4)

63.0(60.0-66.1)

49.5(48.3-50.7)

I feel confused or in a fog.

35.7(30.1-42.4)

35.5(31.2-40.4)

33.4(30.5-36.5)

22.4(21.4-23.4)

I daydream a lot.

61.4(55.5-67.9)

65.1(60.7-69.8)

62.6(59.6-65.7)

51.7(50.6-52.9)

I act without stopping to think.

57.2(51.2-63.9)

52.3(47.7-57.3)

52.8(49.7-56.0)

42.4(41.3-43.6)

I am nervous or tense.

46.6(40.7-53.5)

44.0(39.5-49.1)

44.6(41.5-47.8)

38.7(37.6-39.9)

My school work is poor.

49.2(43.2-56.0)

44.7(40.2-49.8)

41.2(38.2-44.5)

27.5(26.5-28.6)

Source: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

Table 11: Percentage and 95% Confidence Interval for Adolescents Age 12-17 Reporting Delinquent Behavior in the Past 6 Months by Pattern of Alcohol Use in Past Month, 1994-1996
 

DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR

Pattern of Alcohol Use
Percent saying "Somewhat true or very or often true"

 

Heavy

Binge

Light

No Use

I don't feel guilty after doing something I shouldn't.

50.0(44.0-56.8)

43.1(38.6-48.1)

40.3(37.4-43.6)

31.8(30.7-32.9)

I hang around with kids who get in trouble.

63.8(57.9-70.2)

56.7(52.2-61.7)

49.5(46.4-52.7)

31.5(30.4-32.6)

I lie or cheat.

42.8(36.9-49.6)

40.2(35.8-45.2)

37.9(35.0-41.2)

24.6(23.7-25.7)

I prefer to be with older kids.

59.3(53.3-66.0)

61.7(57.2-66.6)

64.8(61.8-67.9)

47.5(46.4-48.7)

I run away from home.

18.1(13.7-24.0)

9.7 (7.5-12.6)

8.4 (6.8-10.4)

3.7 (3.3-4.2)

I set fires.

13.3 (9.2-19.2)

9.2 (7.0-12.3)

9.4 (7.6-11.6)

5.4 (4.9-6.0)

I steal at home.

11.8 (8.2-17.0)

10.0 (7.6-13.2)

9.0 (7.2-11.1)

4.6 (4.2-5.2)

I steal from places other than home.

24.3(19.3-30.6)

18.3(15.1-22.2)

15.3(13.1-17.8)

6.1 (5.6-6.7)

I cut classes or skip school.

54.7(48.8-61.5)

40.8(36.4-45.8)

29.3(26.5-32.3)

9.9 (9.3-10.6)

I use alcohol or drugs for non-medical purposes.

69.4(63.9-75.3)

62.2(57.7-67.1)

39.8(36.8-43.1)

6.4 (5.9-7.0)

I swear or use dirty language.

91.2(88.2-94.4)

88.7(85.9-91.5)

83.0(80.8-85.3)

52.8(51.6-53.9)

Source: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

Table 12: Percentage and 95% Confidence Interval for Adolescents Age 12-17 Reporting Aggressive Behavior in the Past 6 Months by Pattern of Alcohol Use in Past Month, 1994-1996
 

AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR

Pattern of Alcohol Use
Percent saying "Somewhat true or very or often true"

 

Heavy

Binge

Light

No Use

I am mean to others.

42.2(36.4-49.0)

39.8(35.4-44.8)

40.3(37.3-43.5)

29.4(28.4-30.5)

I destroy my own things.

19.9(15.3-26.0)

16.6(13.5-20.5)

13.7(11.7-16.1)

9.9 (9.2-10.6)

I destroy things belonging to others.

18.5(14.1-24.1)

11.4 (8.9-14.7)

12.7(10.7-15.1)

6.7 (6.1-7.3)

I disobey at school.

49.6(43.7-56.4)

48.9(44.3-53.9)

39.4(36.4-42.6)

23.6(22.7-24.6)

I get in many fights.

35.0(29.3-41.7)

24.5(20.6-29.1)

19.9(17.6-22.6)

13.1(12.4-13.9)

I physically attack people.

21.5(16.9-27.3)

14.8(11.9-18.4)

12.0(10.1-14.3)

6.5 (5.9-7.1)

I scream a lot.

25.5(20.4-31.8)

21.7(18.1-26.2)

23.3(20.8-26.2)

16.5(15.7-17.4)

I am stubborn.

64.2(58.3-70.6)

70.9(66.7-75.4)

61.9(58.9-65.0)

49.7(48.6-50.9)

My moods or feelings change suddenly.

54.1(48.1-60.9)

56.7(52.1-61.6)

56.0(52.9-59.2)

43.5(42.3-44.6)

I tease others a lot.

49.3(43.3-56.1)

43.2(38.7-48.3)

43.5(40.4-46.7)

31.4(30.3-32.5)

I have a hot temper.

63.3(57.4-69.7)

62.9(58.4-67.7)

59.7(56.7-62.9)

42.6(41.5-43.8)

I threaten to hurt people.

38.8(33.0-45.6)

25.5(21.6-30.2)

22.5(20.0-25.4)

12.3(11.6-13.1)

Source: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

Table 13: Percentage and 95% Confidence Interval for Adolescents Age 12-17 Reporting Criminal Behavior in the Past Year by Pattern of Alcohol Use in Past Month, 1995-1996

Pattern of Alcohol Use

PAST YEAR CRIMINAL BEHAVIORS

Heavy

Binge

Light

No Use

Got into a physical fight 1

46.5 (36.2-59.8)

37.3 (30.0-46.4)

29.5 (24.9-35.0)

15.2 (13.8-16.7)

Took something from a store without paying 1

33.2 (23.7-46.4)

27.3 (20.9-35.7)

20.9 (16.7-26.1)

7.7 (6.6-8.9)

Purposely damaged or destroyed property that did not belong to me 1

32.8 (23.5-45.8)

19.5 (14.1-27.1)

16.2 (12.4-21.0)

6.5 (5.5-7.7)

Drove under the influence of alcohol 2

32.0 (25.3-40.4)

16.2 (12.5-21.0)

6.3 (4.7-8.5)

0.7 (0.5-1.1)

Sold illegal drugs 1

21.7 (14.0-33.5)

10.6 (6.5-17.1)

3.8 (2.3-6.4)

1.2 (0.8-1.8)

On Probation at any time in the past year 2

19.0 (13.9-25.9)

6.8 (4.6-10.2)

4.9 )3.3-7.2)

1.5 (1.2-1.9)

Drove under the influence of illegal drugs 2

18.4 (13.3-25.4)

12.4 (9.0-16.9)

5.2 (3.7-7.4)

0.6 (0.4-0.9)

Ever arrested /booked for breaking the law 2

27.7 (19.4-39.7)

17.3 (12.2-24.6)

9.9 (7.0-14.0)

3.7 (3.0-4.6)

1 1995 only.
2 1995 and 1996.

Source: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

Table 14: Relative Likelihood and 95% Confidence Interval for Adolescents Age 12-17 Reporting Emotional and Behavioral Problems in the Past 6 Months and Past Year Criminal Behaviors, Controlling for Socio-demographic Characteristics and Past Month Pattern of Alcohol and Marijuana Use, 1994-1996
 

 

Pattern of Alcohol Use*

 

Heavy

Binge

Light

       

Withdrawal complaints

4.3 (1.2-15.7)

1.6 (0.6-4.5)

1.6 (.9-2.8)

Somatic complaints

2.3 (0.7-7.5)

0.5 (0.2-1.3)

0.9 (0.6-1.5)

Anxiety/depression

2.7 (0.7-10.0)

0.9 (0.4-2.1)

1.7 (1.0-2.8)

Social problems

2.2 (0.9-5.4)

2.4 (1.1-5.5)

2.4 (1.6-3.6)

Thought problems

2.6 (1.4-3.3)

1.6 (0.8-3.1)

2.2 (1.4-3.3)

Attention problems

3.3 (1.3-8.4)

1.1 (0.6-2.3)

1.5 (1.0-2.4)

Delinquent behavior

5.1 (3.7-7.0)

3.6 (2.8-4.7)

2.7 (2.3-3.3)

Aggressive behavior

3.5 (1.3-9.2)

3.2 (2.8-5.6)

2.8 (1.9-4.2)

       

In past year:

     

Got into a physical fight 1

2.7 (1.5-4.8)

2.3 (1.5-3.7)

2.1 (1.6-2.7)

Took something from store without paying 1

2.4 (1.3-4.3)

2.2 (1.4-3.5)

2.3 (1.6-3.1)

Purposely damaged or destroyed property that did not belong to me 1

3.2 (1.8-5.6)

1.8 (1.0-3.2)

2.2 (1.5-3.2)

Drove under the influence of alcohol 2

21.3 (11.5-38.9)

8.9 (5.3-4.8)

4.7 (2.9-7.7)

Sold illegal drugs 1

3.3 (0.9-11.8)

1.8 (0.6-5.8)

1.1 (0.5-2.7)

On probation 2

4.4 (2.1-9.2)

1.5 (0.8-2.8)

2.0 (1.1-3.9)

Drove under influence of illegal drugs 2

3.5 (1.7-7.3)

2.8 (1.5-5.3)

2.6 (1.4-4.7)

Ever arrested/booked for breaking the law

3.7 (1.8-7.7)

2.3 (1.3-4.1)

2.0 (1.2-2.4)

* Reference group is past month non-drinkers.
1 1995 only.
2 1995 and 1996.

Note: The relative likelihoods were estimated using logistic regression analysis. The relative likelihood or odds ratio for each Youth Checklist psycho-social category measures the likelihood of past month alcohol and marijuana users versus non-users having clinically significant levels of functional, cognitive, or emotional problems. The logistic regression models control for gender, age, having moved in the past month, family structure, region, population density, family income, and race/ethnicity. An adjusted odds ratio of 4.3 for past month heavy alcohol drinkers means that, after statistically controlling for demographic characteristics and past month marijuana use, heavy alcohol drinkers were 4.3 times more likely than non-drinkers to fall in the "clinical" range for withdrawal complaints in the past 6 months.

Source: Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.

This page was last updated on June 26, 2008.