skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 201179 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Sensation-Seeking as a Moderator of the Effects of Peer Influences, Consistency with Personal Aspirations, and Perceived Harm on Marijuana and Cigarette Use Among Younger Adolescents
Journal: Substance Use & Misuse  Volume:38  Issue:7  Dated:2003  Pages:865-880
Author(s): Michael D. Slater
Editor(s): Stanley Einstein Ph.D.
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Bethesda, MD 20892-9561
Grant Number: DA-12360
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study replicated previous research on interactions of sensation-seeking or a drive toward novelty and risk taking by young adolescents in marijuana and cigarette use and the predictive relationship between variables such as peer influences, perceived harm, aspirations, and why these variables predict the substance use behavior of some adolescents and not others.
Abstract: Through an examination of moderator or contingent relationships, this study replicated research by Curran in 1997 and 2000 on interactions of sensation-seeking or risk taking adolescents with peer influence variables and extended Curran’s work by examining sensation-seeking interactions with posited protective factors that include perceived harm of use and personal aspirations, theorized to lead to involvement with drug-using peer groups. The central proposition of this study was that low sensation-seekers were likely to resist pressures from risk-taking peer, whereas high sensation-seekers would be motivated to comply. The question presented: were there significant interactions between sensation-seeking and alienation from school or family on marijuana and cigarette use? It was hypothesized that concurrent effects of peer influence and protective cognitive variables on marijuana and cigarette use were contingent on adolescent sensation-seeking. To test the hypothesis, a survey was given to eighth graders (n=3,127) in 1999-2000 in 20 United States middle and junior high schools. The major predictions of the study were supported. Key findings include: (1) the effects of interactions of sensation-seeking on marijuana use and cigarette use cannot be ignored and (2) the pattern of interactions was consistent with predictions for the social influence variables. The interactions indicate that low sensation-seeking adolescents appear in most cases to be at relatively low risk even in the presence of peer risk factors or in the absence of cognitive protective factors. These findings indicate that high and moderate sensation-seekers should be the primary audience for substance use prevention efforts for young adolescents. References
Main Term(s): Adolescents at risk
Index Term(s): Adolescent chemical dependency; Behavior patterns; Behavior typologies; Deviance; Juvenile personality characteristics; Marijuana; Peer assessment; Peer influences on behavior; Risk taking behavior
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.