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J Drug Educ. 2004;34(4):351-71.

Friends don't let friends ...or do they? Developmental and gender differences in intervening in friends' ATOD use.

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Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802-2601, USA.


This study focused on the strategies adolescents endorsed for situations in which friends were experimenting with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Four hypothetical vignettes (concerning a friend smoking, using drugs, getting drunk at a party, or deciding whether to attend a party with alcohol and drugs) were presented to 2697 5th-12th graders. Whereas younger students were more likely to choose proactive strategies (talking to the friend or an adult or ending the friendship), older students were more inclined to say they would ignore a friend's smoking and drug use although they would take the car keys away from a friend drinking alcohol. Among those 13 years old and older, the more dangerous the substance, the more inclined the youth were to intervene. Females were more inclined than males to talk to friends about smoking, drinking, and drugs and less inclined to ignore the behaviors or stop being a friend.

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