The authors tested a model of the process of becoming involved with drugs during junior high. The sample included 698 students who were not using alcohol, cigarettes, or marijuana during grade 7 (T1); the follow-up data points were 12 and 15 months later (T2 and T3). The final model, which predicted 72% of the variance in drug use at T3, provides support for hypotheses drawn from both social and cognitive theories. Weak familial and school attachments fostered use by increasing the likelihood of exposure to pro-drug social influences (drug use offers); weak bonds with school also directly affected cognitive motivations (lower resistance self-efficacy, or RSE, and more positive outcome expectancies). In turn, social influences at T1 played a dominant role in initial use at T2, but cognitive motivations were also significant. At T3, prior use assumed the most prominent position. Drug-specific measures of RSE and expected use directly affected later use of that substance. The results indicate that both generic and drug-specific effects are needed to explain adolescent drug use. The authors discuss implications for prevention programs.
Originally published in: Health Psychology, v. 11, no. 6, pp. 377-385.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.
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.