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Adv Alcohol Subst Abuse. 1985 Spring-Summer;4(3-4):41-67.

A development perspective on adolescent drug abuse.


Adolescent drug use is placed in an historical and developmental perspective. Existing evidence concerning causes and consequences of adolescent drug use is inconclusive. In the absence of conclusive empirical evidence and cogent theories, we present a prima facie case against early adolescent drug use by defending six propositions which posit specific cognitive, conative, and affective negative consequences including impairment of attention and memory; developmental lag imposing categorical limitations on the level of maximum functioning available to the user in cognitive, moral and psychosocial domains; amotivational syndrome; consolidation of diffuse or negative identity; and social alienation and estrangement. We call for a program of research which could provide credible evidence to support or rebut these propositions, and thus address the factual claims underlying the sociomoral concerns of social policy planners.

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