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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229079 Find in a Library
Title: Accounting for Variation in the Perceived Effects of Adolescent Substance Use: Steps Towards a Variable Reinforcement Model
Journal: Journal of Drug Issues  Volume:39  Issue:3  Dated:Summer 2009  Pages:443-476
Author(s): Timothy Brezina
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 34
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on the components and testing of a model that accounts for individual variation in the emotional and psychological potential reward from adolescents' use of drugs and alcohol, a model that may also assist in predicting the future behavior of adolescent substance users.
Abstract: The proposed model assumes that the extent to which users experience the effects of drugs/alcohol as pleasurable or gratifying is highly variable across individuals and that this variation is influenced by individual characteristics and personal life situations. A key contribution of the proposed model is that, with the aid of various criminological theories, it identifies a range of "characteristics" and "life situations" that are believed to shape the reward potential of substance use. The focus of the proposed model is on key social-psychological factors or processes. These factors are theorized to have the most direct, and therefore the strongest, influence on the amount of pleasure that adolescents associate with drug and alcohol effects. The factors proposed as having the most significant effect on the potential for reward/pleasure from substance use are categorized as social/self control, social-psychological strain, and prior experience with substance use. Results of an initial test of the model provide partial support for social-learning arguments reflected in the model. Peer variables influenced the extent to which adolescent substance users associated alcohol and marijuana use with positive or rewarding effects. Also, variation in the experience of direct reward affected the frequency of future substance use and change in substance use over time. In addition tests showed consistent negative effects of moral beliefs or definitions on the experience of direct reward from substance use. Contrary to expectation, however, measures of parental attachment and strain (school strain and academic failure) did not influence the experience of direct reward from substance use. 6 tables, 5 figures, and 56 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile drug use
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Drug abuse causes; Drug effects; Juvenile delinquency factors; Motivation
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