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Drug Alcohol Depend. 1992 Aug;30(3):275-87.

Elementary schoolchildren's use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana and classmates' attribution of socialization.

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Department of Community and Family Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC 20007.


In each of 2 years beginning in fourth and fifth grades, urban elementary public schoolchildren completed surveys about abusable substance use and health promoting behaviors and completed an instrument that permitted each child to have a socialization score attributed by classmates. A factor weighted 12-item scale was developed from 15 items in three domains (personal, interpersonal and school). The scale was positively correlated over the 2 years and positively correlated with a healthful activities scale in both years. Conditional multiple logistic regression, matching on school classroom, indicated that socialization was negatively associated with use of alcohol without parental permission and cigarettes in both years (grades 4-5, grades 5-6) and with use of marijuana in year 1. Socialization measured in year 1 was negatively associated with cigarette use in year 2 and with onset of use from year 1 to year 2. Shyness, a non-socialization scale item, was negatively associated with use of cigarettes in both years and with use of alcohol without permission and use of marijuana in year 2. Being 'good at sports' was an attribute positively associated with alcohol use without permission and cigarette use in year 2. Results suggest that elementary schoolchildren can ascribe social characteristics to their classmates that are associated with and predict health related behaviors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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