Why Do Adolescents Use Drugs? A Common Sense Explanatory Model from the Social Actor's Perspective

By Nuno-Gutierrez, Bertha Lidia; Rodriguez-Cerda, Oscar et al. | Adolescence, Winter 2006 | Go to article overview

Why Do Adolescents Use Drugs? A Common Sense Explanatory Model from the Social Actor's Perspective


Nuno-Gutierrez, Bertha Lidia, Rodriguez-Cerda, Oscar, Alvarez-Nemegyei, Jose, Adolescence


INTRODUCTION

Several authors have attempted to explain drug use debut in teenagers. Petraitis, Flay, and Miller (1995) proposed a conceptual model that includes three kinds of influences: (1) cultural and attitudinal, such as public policy and social values; (2) social and interpersonal, including social influences, family beliefs and relationships; and (3) individual baggage, including temperament and confrontation skills. They also suggested that three levels can be identified within each: proximal, distal, and distant. They recognized, however, that even though the model is conceptually clear, there has not been enough research to identify other influences underlying drug use debut.

In another related study, Castro-Sarinana (2001) identified 50 factors related to teenage drug use. He classified them into three groups using an epidemiological model: (1) predisposing environment, including type of family, demography, and social environment; (2) the drug itself (as an agent), including use and access, among other factors; and (3) individual (host), including sociodemography and personal biography.

Other reports have identified such factors as easy access to a drug, drug users among family or friends, peer approval, a perception of low risk, and unpleasant mood state as being linked to drug use (Medina-Mora, Villatoro, Lopez, Berenzon, Carreno, & Juarez, 1995). Additional associated factors include domestic violence, drug use by relatives, and sexual abuse (Sanchez-Huezca, Guisa-Cruz, Ortiz-Encinas, & de Leon Pantoja, 2002).

In a qualitative study, Nuno-Gutierrez and Flores-Palacios (2004), noted that one of the central perceptions underlying teenage drug is that they do not see it as a problem, and believe that "nothing wrong is going to happen." This perception seems to be learned from a family member. The adolescent addict also believes that s/he is stronger than others.

Some reports indicate school-related factors, such as academic failure (Bryant, Schulenberg, Bachman, O'Malley, & Johnston, 2000; Bryant & Zimmerman, 2002; Bryant, Schulenberg, Bachman, O'Malley, & Johnston, 2003; Luthar & Crushing, 1997), absenteeism, peer drug use, and psychological distress as being linked to teenage drug use (Dryfoos, 1990; Hawkins, Catalano, & Miller, 1992; Newcomb, Abbot, Catalano, Hawkins, Battin-Pearson, & Hill, 2002; Newcomb, & Bentler, 1989). Further, teenagers who engaged in misconduct and had low school performance scores had higher tobacco, alcohol and marijuana use levels (Brook, Whiteman, Gordon, & Cohen, 1986; Bryan & Zimmerman, 2002; Hawkins & Weiss, 1985; Roeser, Eccles, & Fredman-Doan, 1999; Sanchez-Huezca et al., 2002; Smith & Fogg, 1978; Voelk & Frone, 2000). This finding is supported by a number of reports showing that teenagers with more motivation and interest in school, more positive attitudes, defined academic goals, and higher self-esteem also have a lower risk for drug use (Bachman, Johnston, & O'Malley, 1981; Schulenberg, Bachman, O'Maley, & Johnston, 1994).

Adolescent drug abuse is also linked to such family factors as faulty and triangulated communication (Klein, Forehand, Armistead, & Long, 1997), multi-problem families (Sokol, Dunham, & Zimmerman, 1997), inter-parental conflict (Klein et al., 1997), parent-child conflict (Klein et al., 1997; Sokol et al., 1997), intergenerational alliances and coalitions (Graham, 1996; Sanchez-Huezca et al., Strauss et al., 1994), addiction-perpetuating family patterns (Tomori, 1994), affection-deprived family environment (Voelkl et al., 2000), ineffective problem-solving patterns (Klein et al., 1997, Sokol et al., 1997), low familial satisfaction levels (Choquet, Kovess, & Poutignat, 1993; Yeh et al., 1995), family perceptions oriented toward negative aspects (Anderson & Henry, 1994; Denton & Kampfe, 1994; Foxcroft & Lowe, 1995), family disintegration (Hagell & Newburn, 1996), type of religious practice (Foshee & Hollinger, 1996), and low levels of parental monitoring (Hawkins et al. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Why Do Adolescents Use Drugs? A Common Sense Explanatory Model from the Social Actor's Perspective
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.