Adolescent Worlds: Drug Use and Athletic Activity

Adolescent Worlds: Drug Use and Athletic Activity

Adolescent Worlds: Drug Use and Athletic Activity

Adolescent Worlds: Drug Use and Athletic Activity

Synopsis

This volume explores both the place of sport in adolescent society and, more specifically, the ways that drug use or nonuse fits into the lives of and is talked about by youths who participate in sports and those who do not. In addition to examining specific questions related to adolescent drug use and sports, the author utilizes several theoretical perspectives drawn from sociology to illuminate the study findings: Sutherland's theory of differential association; Cohen's notion of the concept of subcultures; and the social control theories of Hirschi and Sykes and Matza. Throughout, Stuck focuses particularly upon how the adolescents themselves explain drug use or nonuse and involvement or noninvolvement in sports. Broad policy recommendations conclude the volume.

Excerpt

Research in the area of adolescence and drug use suggests that youth who are more susceptible to boredom are more likely to engage in deviant behavior such as drug use (Adams and Resnik, 1985; Wasson, 1981), and that involvement in alternatives which provide fulfillment, self-- understanding, new experiences, or changes in emotional states (Hobfall and Segal, 1983; Barnes and Olson, 1977:359), in structured "peer programs" (Resnik and Gibbs, 1981), in experiences that include the development of community (Everhart, 1982), and in activities that provide the opportunity for self-development through individual effort and meaningful cooperation (Sugden and Yiannakis, 1982:26) are viable methods of drug abuse prevention and/or rehabilitation.

This literature, while helpful conceptually and theoretically, both assumes that drug use equals drug abuse and imposes models, concepts, and explanations onto the experiences of adolescents. That is, much of this research addresses the issue of drug abuse either (1) without offering any definition of drug use or abuse or (2) by providing some a priori, expert, researcher-established definition of abuse, with no reference to, or input from, the individuals who are being described as using or abusing drugs, individuals whose worlds may hold meanings for the terms "use" and "abuse" quite different from those of the outside "expert," the researcher.

Equally informative would be a more interpretive, verstehen-oriented approach, which seeks to explore two important related areas in order to discover:

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