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Confirmatory factor analyses of self-reports of drug use and deviant activity from 701 female and 662 male students in grade 10 revealed three correlated higher-order dimensions of behavior: alcohol use and sociability, rebelliousness, and deviant behavior, including drug use other than alcohol. The intercorrelations between these dimensions were 0.548 or higher for both male and female students, indicating an underlying unidimensionality of these activities. These results suggest that drug prevention programs that curb initial and regular use of the gateway drugs may have a broader, spillover impact on other deviant behavior. They also suggest that programs aimed at both deviance and drug use are worth pursuing and that schools are an important venue for identifying deviant youth. The strong links between alcohol use and sociability underline the need to counteract the social acceptability of drinking and focus on the social contexts in which it occurs.

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Originally published in: Addictive Behaviors, v. 21, no. 3, 1996, pp. 291-302.

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