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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 183355 Find in a Library
Title: Substance Use Among Young People: The Relationship Between Perceived Functions and Intentions
Journal: Addiction  Volume:94  Issue:7  Dated:July 1999  Pages:1043-1050
Author(s): Annabel Boys; John Marsden; Paul Griffiths; Jane Fountain; Garry Stillwell; John Strang
Date Published: July 1999
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Health Education Authority
London SW1P 2HW, England
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This British study explored the relationship between juveniles' use of psychoactive substances, perceived functions for using these substances, the experience of negative effects, and the influences of these variables on their intention to use substances again.
Abstract: The study involved a cross-sectional survey in which respondents were recruited by using snowballing techniques. Interviews were conducted in informal community settings with 100 young drug and alcohol users (45 females) between the ages of 16 and 21 years old. Lifetime prevalence, current frequency, intensity of substance use, and intention to use again were assessed for four target substances (alcohol, cannabis, amphetamines, and ecstasy) together with measures of the perceived functions for their use and peer substance use. Findings show that the lifetime experience of negative effects from using the assessed substances was not found to correlate with current consumption patterns. Statistically significant associations were observed between the reported frequency of taking substances and the perceived social/contextual and/or mood altering functions cited for their consumption. The substance-use function measures, together with the reported extent of peer use, were significant predictors of intentions to use again. If these findings are confirmed in larger studies, this suggests that educational and prevention efforts should acknowledge the positive personal and social functions that various substances provide for youth. The results also call into question the extent to which the experience of negative effects influences future patterns of use. 3 tables and 38 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile drug use
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Drug abuse causes; Drug effects; Foreign criminal justice research; Juvenile drug abusers
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