Does Solitary Substance Use Increase Adolescents' Risk for Poor Psychosocial and Behavioral Outcomes?

A 9-Year Longitudinal Study Comparing Solitary and Social Users

Published in: Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, v. 20, no. 4, Dec. 2006, p. 363-372

Posted on on January 01, 2006

by Joan S. Tucker, Phyllis L. Ellickson, Rebecca L. Collins, David J. Klein

Read More

Access further information on this document at Psychology of Addictive Behaviors

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

This longitudinal study compared Grade 8 solitary cigarette smokers (n = 541), drinkers (n = 577), and marijuana users (n = 148) with adolescents who restricted their use of these substances to social settings (ns = 562, 1,426, and 388, respectively) on adolescent functioning and young adult outcomes. In Grade 8, solitary users held more positive beliefs about the consequences of substance use, earned poorer grades, engaged in more deviant behavior, and devoted less time to school and more time to social activities. By age 23, these solitary users had lower educational attainment, poorer self-rated health, and greater substance use problems. Results indicate the importance of better understanding and addressing the needs of this understudied group of high-risk youth.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.