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Accid Anal Prev. 2003 Sep;35(5):669-75.

Identifying factors that predict persistent driving after drinking, unsafe driving after drinking, and driving after using cannabis among young adults.

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1
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago Medical School, PO Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand. dorothy.begg@ipru.otaga.ac.nz

Abstract

The main aim of this study was to identify adolescent/young adulthood factors that predicted persistent driving after drinking, persistent unsafe driving after drinking, and persistent cannabis use and driving among young adults. It was a longitudinal study of a birth cohort (n=933, 474 males and 459 females) and was based on data collected at ages 15, 18, 21 and 26 years. At each of these ages members of the cohort attended the research unit for a personal interview by a trained interviewer, using a standardised questionnaire. For this study, the data for the outcome measures (persistent driving after drinking, persistent unsafe driving after drinking, and persistent driving after using cannabis) were obtained at ages 21 and 26 years. The main explanatory measures were collected at ages 15, 18, 21 years and included demographic factors (academic qualifications, employment, parenting); personality measures; mental health measures (substance use, cannabis dependence, alcohol dependence, depression); anti-social behaviour (juvenile arrest, aggressive behaviour, court convictions); early driving behaviour and experiences (car and motorcycle licences, traffic crashes). The analyses were conducted by gender. The results showed that females who persisted in driving after drinking (13%, n=61) were more likely than the others to have a motorcycle licence at 18. The males who persisted in driving after drinking (28%, n=135) were more likely than the other males to have some school academic qualifications and to be employed at age 26. Compared to the other males, those who persisted in unsafe driving after drinking (4%, n=17) were more likely to be aggressive at 18 and alcohol dependent at 21. Only six (1%) females persisted in unsafe driving after drinking so regression analyses were not conducted for this group. For persistent driving after using cannabis, the univariate analyses showed that females who persisted with this behaviour tended to have high substance use at 18, cannabis dependence at 21, police contact as a juvenile, and to be a parent at 21. For this group, because of the small numbers (3%, n=13) multivariate analyses were not appropriate. For the males who persisted in driving after using cannabis (14%, n=68) a wide range of variables were significant at the univariate stage. The multivariate analysis showed that the most important factors were dependence on cannabis at 21, at least one traffic conviction before 21, a non traffic conviction before 18, and low constraint at 18.

CONCLUSION:

These results show different characteristics were associated with persistence in each of these outcome behaviours. This indicates that different approaches would be required if intervention programmes were to be developed to target these behaviours.

PMID:
12850067
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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