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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 Dec 1;91(2-3):129-33. Epub 2007 Jul 10.

Variations in social contexts and their effect on adolescent inhalant use: a latent profile investigation.

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  • 1University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work and Center on Education and Drug Abuse Research, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.


The social contexts surrounding the use and abuse of inhalants are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to utilize latent profile analysis (LPA) to identify specific subgroups of adolescents based on social contextual effects surrounding inhalant use episodes in a sample of 279 adolescent inhalant users. Findings revealed that a three-class solution exhibited the best empirical and conceptual fit with the data. Identified classes represented a gradient of low, moderate, and high levels of contextual effects where approximately one third of adolescent inhalant users reported high levels of inhalant use in response to social contextual influences. Subsequent validation analysis showed that these gradient-based classes were directly correspondent with severity in measures of psychopathology, past drug use, variety of inhalants used, and measures of impulsivity and fearlessness. Results indicate heterogeneity in contextual effects on inhalant use and suggest that follow-up studies should examine the role that susceptibility and exposure to contextual effects has on inhalant use.

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