Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price
Add to Cart Paperback24 pages Free

This study examines the impact of early adolescent drug use on subsequent dropping out of high school in a sample of 4,390 adolescents from California and Oregon. Participants were initially surveyed in 7th grade in 1985 and again in 1990 when they should have completed 12th grade. Logistic regression analyses show that frequency of cigarette use during 7th grade predicts dropping out of high school, controlling for demographics, family structure, academic orientation, early deviance, and school environment. Separate analyses by race/ethnicity replicate this finding for Asians, Blacks, and whites, but not for Latinos. For Latinos, early marijuana use predicts dropping out. The results suggest that preventing or reducing the incidence of early smoking and marijuana use may help reduce the probability of dropping out of high school.

Originally published in: Journal of Drug Issues, v. 28, no. 2, Spring 1998, pp. 357-380.

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/research-integrity.

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.