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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 170852 Find in a Library
Title: Contingent Effects of Risk Perception on Risk-Taking Behavior: Adolescent Participative Orientation and Marijuana Use
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:27  Issue:1  Dated:(February 1998)  Pages:17-27
Author(s): C Lee; Y Su; B P Hazard
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study compares in various adolescent activity contexts the effect of risk perception on the risk-taking behavior of marijuana use.
Abstract: The data used were obtained from the 1992 Monitoring the Future (MTF), a nationally representative annual survey of high school seniors conducted since 1976. This survey uses a multistage sampling procedure to select approximately 135 schools that represent the continuous United States. A total of 400 seniors are selected from each school to participate in the survey, all of whom respond to the core questions on drug use, and subsamples of them complete one of the five questionnaire forms that cover various areas of youth lifestyles and values. The variables selected for the current analysis were all derived from Form 2 of MTF, and the valid sample cases were 2,613. The four participative orientations used in the study were school, creative activities, sports, and fun. Participating in activities of these four orientations provides settings for youth in interpreting other activities such as the risk-taking behavior of marijuana use. Viewing marijuana use as a risk-taking behavior, this study found that the perception of high risk related to regular use of marijuana had no simple direct effect on that risk-taking behavior. Rather, the effect of risk perception was contingent upon the extent of youth participation in activities such as going to parties, going to bars, attending concerts, and visiting friends. The perception of risk suppressed marijuana use most effectively in the context of activities where such a risk-taking behavior was most prevalent. These findings are congruent with recent literature on actions of risk-taking that take into account the subjective-meaning orientation as a moderator between perception and action. The study concludes that a behavior-specific approach can augment the conventional approach to common factors that underlie the youths' proneness to problem behaviors. 1 table, 1 figure, and 28 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile drug abusers
Index Term(s): Drug abuse causes; Juvenile delinquency factors; Marijuana
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