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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 199866 Find in a Library
Title: Moving Target: Reasons Given by Adolescents for Alcohol and Narcotics Use, 1984 and 1999
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:32  Issue:3  Dated:June 2003  Pages:195-203
Author(s): Riia A. Palmqvist; Liisa K. Martikainen; Maijaliisa Rauste von Wright
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 9
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This study examined the reasons given by Finnish adolescents for their own alcohol use, as well as for the use of alcohol and narcotics by others.
Abstract: Previous studies have examined the reasons for adolescent drug use; however, little attention has been given to adolescents' self-reported reasons for alcohol use in relation to the cultural transformations that may be occurring in society at large. The current study aimed to determine the reasons given by Finnish adolescents for their own alcohol use and the use of alcohol and narcotics by others within various time frames. Specifically, the study sought to determine how the reasons given had changed over a period of 15 years, and then relate these changes to cultural changes that may have occurred or be in the process of occurring. In 1984, a questionnaire was administered to a sample of adolescents aged 14-16 (n=396). The questionnaire solicited reasons for alcohol and narcotics use. The same questionnaire was administered again to a similar sample (n=488) in 1999. The analysis of the responses from the two questionnaires found an increase in alcohol and narcotics use based in inner subjective experiences, such as "good feeling" and "fun" related to alcohol and narcotics effects. In addition, the goals of alcohol consumption were increasingly perceived as "getting drunk" and drinking an alcoholic beverage "for its own sake." The results suggest that adolescents' attitudes have become more liberal toward alcohol and narcotics use. Further, prevention campaigns must take into account the changing response for alcohol and narcotics consumption. The focus on the feelings of drunkenness and other feelings associated with the effects and contexts of alcohol and narcotics consumption suggests an increasing egocentrism among youth that may make them vulnerable to any experience that promises entertainment or a pleasurable state of mind. 3 tables and 39 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile drug use
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Alcoholic beverage consumption; Alcoholism causes; Drug prevention programs; Finland; Foreign criminal justice research; Underage Drinking
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