Navigation Links
Teen attitudes toward smoking linked to likelihood of drinking and using drugs

NEW YORK (Sept. 30, 2009) -- New research by Weill Cornell Medical College researchers looks at the specific ways parents and peers influence teenagers to smoke, drink and use marijuana in combination. Among their findings: attitudes toward smoking influenced teenagers' use of multiple drugs (smoking, drinking and marijuana), and that this manifested itself differently in boys and girls.

For girls, friends were shown to be central. Ambivalent or permissive attitudes within their social group toward smoking were associated with poly-drug use -- defined as two or more of the following behaviors: smoking, drinking and marijuana use. This wasn't the case with boys, whose poly-drug use was instead predicted by the extent to which they perceived smoking to be prevalent in their larger age group -- not just among their friends.

"If a teenager feels smoking is socially acceptable and widely practiced, they are much more likely not only to smoke, but to also drink and possibly use marijuana," says lead author Dr. Jennifer A. Epstein, assistant professor of public health in the Division of Prevention and Health Behavior at Weill Cornell Medical College. "While the differences between how boys and girls are influenced by these social factors are subtle, they could help us develop new gender-specific educational tactics for preventing these behaviors."

The study also revealed several factors that were the same for boys and girls. When their friends drank alcohol or smoked or when their parents had permissive or ambivalent attitudes toward drinking, both teenage boys and girls were more likely to report poly-drug use. Other major variables included teenagers' inability to refuse drugs and achieve goals through their own efforts.

"A parent's opinion matters. Moms and dads are critical role models and should let their attitudes against drug use be known. It's also important to keep an eye on their child's social circle, since, especially for girls, it's their friends who are so central to influencing their behavior," says Dr. Epstein. "At the same time, parents can do things that reduce their child's risk for using drugs, such as teaching them to set goals and assert themselves."

Researchers analyzed confidential surveys taken by 2,400 sixth- and seventh-graders in inner-city schools in New York City. Questions dealt with substance use and several psychological factors that previous research suggests may be related to drug use. The majority of the schools serve youths from families with incomes averaged well below the federal poverty level.

The current study is one of the first to look at the relationships between smoking, drinking and marijuana use. The vast majority of research in this area has focused on a single substance in isolation, especially among white middle-class suburban populations. The importance of Dr. Epstein's approach is backed up by evidence suggesting that teenage poly-drug use is a significant risk factor for adult poly-drug use.

One implication of these findings, according to Dr. Epstein, is that "comprehensive prevention programs focusing on multiple gateway drugs (alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana) may prove to be more valuable than programs focusing on a single drug."


Contact: Lezlie Greenberg
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College

Related medicine news :

1. Orgasms, sexual health and attitudes about female genitals
2. Americans Attitudes On Economic Issues Have Shifted, Per Franklin & Marshall College Poll With Hearst Television
3. Worldwide Gap Between Vision Care Attitudes & Behavior
4. Survey Compares Aussie and English Barbeque Attitudes
5. How Do Our Attitudes About Beauty Change As We Age?
6. Doctors Attitudes Play Part in Early Alzheimers Diagnosis
7. Stanford Center on Longevity Releases New Findings About Voter Attitudes on Health Care Reform
8. Survey research looks at attitudes, obstacles to walking and biking to work
9. Employers Want National Approach to Health Care—Still Believe Employer-Based System Works Best: New Survey Looks At Attitudes toward Health Care Reform and Major Health Care Issues.
10. Educational materials can alter young womens attitudes about tanning, may reduce skin cancer
11. Surrogacy still stigmatized, though attitudes changing among younger women
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Medical Solutions, one ... for its stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati office being named a ... Cincinnati office was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s 13th annual Greater ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... For the first time, Vitalalert is donating half of its earnings to ... between the two groups began in 2014 with Vitalalert pledging a portion of every ... founded in 1954 and is an international Christian-based health organization whose mission is to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... and athletic programs, launches new Wimbledon Athletics Facebook page to educate ... athletes for unsuspected cardiac abnormalities. About 2,000 people under the age of 25 ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... , ... Beddit® has launched a new Android app for use ... a more intuitive SleepScore™ that rates sleep quality on a 100-point scale and makes ... by a proprietary algorithm. Beddit analyzes the data to provide an easy to understand ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... for people struggling with eating disorders as a result of the $20,000 raised ... event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, will help individuals who ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... ser potential att använda SyMRI för att ... för patienter med multipel skleros (MS) eller ... SyntheticMR AB för att kunna använda SyMRI ... Med SyMRI kan man generera flera konstrastbilder ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... India , November 26, 2015 ... --> adds ... Report" and "Investigation Report on China ... and 2021 forecasts data and information ... . ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ) has ... Market by Type (Reagents & Kits, Analyzers), ... Diagnostic Labs), Application (Research, Clinical Diagnostics), and ... report to their offering. --> ... the "Radioimmunoassay Market by Type (Reagents ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: