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NCJ Number: 148961 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Perceived Harm, Age, and Drug Use: Perceptual and Motivational Dispositions Affecting Drug Use
Journal: Journal of Drug Education  Volume:23  Issue:4  Dated:(1993)  Pages:333-356
Author(s): L B Szalay; A Inn; J B Strohl; L C Wilson
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: Gang Intelligence Strategy Committee

National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The investigations reported here address the relationship of perceived harm or appeal of drugs, age, and reported drug use through analysis of the free associations of students from elementary to graduate school.
Abstract: Subsamples of drug users and nonusers are also included. Comparisons across the age range studied (10 to 29 years) showed how subjective meanings and the system of mental representation, including those characteristics of drug users and nonusers, evolve as a function of age. Based on the domains studied, the distance measured between user/nonuser groups and between age groups showed systematic and predictable increases that reflect on construct validity. The perceptual and motivational dispositions identified correlated significantly with drug use (behavioral validation). Free associations revealed a close relationship between drug use and such psychological dispositions as dominant perceptions, attitudes, and systems of mental representations. The results provide new insights into the role of such variables as perceived harm and subjective appeal. They suggest the desirability of developing prevention programs designed to change those perceptual and attitudinal dispositions associated with drug abuse. 41 references and 5 figures
Main Term(s): Drug abuse causes
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile drug abusers; Motivation
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