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Int J Addict. 1986 Jul;21(7):739-66.

Interpersonal influences in adolescent drug use--the role of older siblings, parents, and peers.


Drawing data from the first year of a longitudinal study of 508 families with focal adolescents aged 11 to 13 years and their older siblings (14 to 18 years), the investigators examined the influence of older siblings' drug-using attitudes and behaviors, in comparison with parental and peer drug-using attitudes and behaviors, on focal adolescents' nonuse and use of substances. Older siblings are frequently a source of drugs and use substances with their young siblings, though peers remain the primary source and the most frequent coursers. For most substances, frequency of use was predicted by older sibling and peer substance use, each after controlling for the other. Parental drug use was found to be minimal in comparison to older siblings and peers. Findings relative to the potentially important role of older siblings in influencing their younger siblings' drug-using behavior are discussed.

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