Send to

Choose Destination
Subst Use Misuse. 1999 Jun;34(7):1013-23.

Peer networks and sensation seeking: some implications for primary socialization theory.

Author information

Department of Communication, and Center for Prevention Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA.


This article draws on recent work in sensation seeking and peer influences in drug use prevention and considers some possible implications for primary socialization theory. A particular point of focus is a postulate of the theory that an individual's personal characteristics and personality traits do not directly relate to drug use and deviance but ordinarily influence those outcomes only when they affect interactions between the individual and the primary socialization sources. The article suggests a more broadly encompassing perspective which holds that socialization learning through the primary socialization sources gives people's lives direction; it may be the tugs of activation needs which provide impetus for the actions. The authors cite a recent study in which they developed a structural equation model of influence of individual and peer variables on later alcohol and marijuana use. The model indicates an indirect route from individual sensation seeking through peers to drug and alcohol use, with adolescents picking persons of similar sensation-seeking levels, and the sensation-seeking level of these peers tending to influence alcohol and marijuana use. Although previous studies have suggested causal relationships between sensation seeking and drug use and between peer influence and drug use, the findings in this study suggest that the actual process involves both. [Translations are provided in the International Abstracts Section of this issue.].

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center