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: 230194 Find in a Library
Title: Self-Medication and Violent Behavior
Author(s): Michael K. Ostrowsky
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 264
Sponsoring Agency: LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC
El Paso, TX 79913
Publication Number: ISBN 978-1-59332-299-1
Sale Source: LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC
Box 221258
El Paso, TX 79913
United States of America
Type: Book Review
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the causes and consequences of alcohol and marijuana use among adolescents.
Abstract: Results suggest that, overall, negative psychological states are not the strongest predictors of drug use; however, depression, low self-esteem, alcohol use, marijuana use, and violence among juveniles continue to be current social issues invoking widespread concern. This study provides Edward Khantzian's "self-medication hypothesis" as the theoretical framework; however, it extends Khantzian's perspective and also moves beyond previous tests of the hypothesis. Focusing on depression and low self-esteem, the effects that alcohol and marijuana use have on depression and self-esteem are explored, as well as whether the use of these drugs has any direct and/ or indirect effects on subsequent violence. Overall, the results provide little support to the five predictions of the self-medication hypothesis, but a few interesting findings did emerge. In terms of drug use, weak school commitment predicts an increase in alcohol use and weak parental attachment predicts an increase in marijuana use among early and late adolescent girls. In terms of violence, high self-esteem was found to increase violent behavior among late adolescent girls, contrary to expectation. Data were collected from adolescents from Rochester, New York where there continues to be a relatively high crime rate. Tables, figures, and references
Main Term(s): Juvenile drug use
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Childhood depression; Mental disorders; New York; Underage Drinking; Violence prediction
Note: LFB Scholarly Series Criminal Justice: Recent Scholarship
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.