Identifying sensitive periods when changes in parenting and peer factors are associated with changes in adolescent alcohol and marijuana use

Seth J. Prins, Sandhya Kajeepeta, Robin Pearce, Jordan Beardslee, Dustin Pardini, Magdalena Cerdá

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: There are well-established associations between parental/peer relationships and adolescent substance use, but few longitudinal studies have examined whether adolescents change their substance use in response to changes in their parents’ behavior or peer networks. We employ a within-person change approach to address two key questions: Are changes in parenting and peer factors associated with changes in adolescent marijuana and alcohol use? Are there sensitive periods when changes in parenting and peer factors are more strongly associated with changes in adolescent marijuana and alcohol use? Methods: We analyzed longitudinal data collected annually on 503 boys, ages 13–19, recruited from Pittsburgh public schools. Questionnaires regarding parental supervision, negative parenting practices, parental stress, physical punishment, peer delinquency, and peer drug use were administered to adolescents and their caretakers. Alcohol and marijuana use were assessed by a substance use scale adapted from the National Youth Survey. Results: Reductions in parental supervision and increases in peer drug use and peer delinquency were associated with increases in marijuana frequency, alcohol frequency, and alcohol quantity. Increases in parental stress were associated with increases in marijuana and alcohol frequency. The magnitudes of these relationships were strongest at ages 14–15 and systematically decreased across adolescence. These associations were not due to unmeasured stable confounders or measured time-varying confounders. Conclusions: Reducing or mitigating changes in parenting and peer risk factors in early adolescence may be particularly important for preventing substance use problems as adolescents transition into young adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Fixed effects
  • Parental influence
  • Peer influence
  • Substance use
  • Transition to adulthood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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