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J Drug Educ. 1991;21(1):1-11.

Peer influence and drug use among adolescents in rural areas.

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  • 1Texas A&M University College Station.

Abstract

A sample of 1,004 eighth and tenth grade students in twenty-three small Central/East Texas communities was assessed to determine 1) their perception of the number of their friends who use drugs, 2) the amount of information they received about drugs from their friends, and 3) the connection between those perceptions and drug use. A multiple regression model which included grade, gender, the degree to which friends are perceived to use drugs and the amount of information about drugs received from friends explained 39 percent of the variance in the degree to which rural adolescents were involved in drug use. An item specific analysis of the subcomponents of these composite variables explained 44 percent of the variance in the degree to which rural adolescents were involved in drug use. This same four-factor model accurately classified over 81 percent of non-drug-users and 67 percent of users using discriminant analysis. Students who perceived a higher degree of drug use among their friends and who received more information about drugs from their friends used drugs more frequently. Lower marijuana use in these rural areas as compared to the nation, both as a peer perception and as a fact, may protect these students to a degree from broader patterns of drug use. The findings of this study support the theory that peer pressure is related to drug abuse, even in rural areas.

PMID:
2016660
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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