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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2007 May 11;88(2-3):308-12. Epub 2006 Nov 17.

Further investigation of psychological and environmental correlates of substance use in adolescence in six European countries.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece. kokkevi@hol.gr

Abstract

AIM:

To study the multifactorial correlates of adolescents' use of legal and illegal substances in six European countries and to assess whether a common pattern of factors exists irrespective of the countries' different sociocultural backgrounds.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional European school population survey (ESPAD) following standardized methodology.

PARTICIPANTS:

National probability samples of 16-year-old high school students from Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Slovenia and the UK. Total sample 16,445.

MEASUREMENTS:

Anonymous questionnaire self-administered in the classroom. Self-reported use of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and other illegal drugs. Correlates examined: environmental, such as peer culture and family-related; behavior-related such as antisocial behavior, truancy and anomie; and psychological factors such as self-esteem and depressive mood.

FINDINGS:

Separate logistic regressions for the two genders produced a set of psychosocial correlates common to the use of all legal and illegal substances. The strongest were peer and older sibling models of use, and peer-oriented lifestyle, followed by patterns of antisocial behavior and truancy. Family-related variables such as not living with both parents, parental monitoring and relationships with parents were less significant. Self-esteem and depressive mood were not significant. Girls' use of substances, especially illegal ones, showed stronger associations than boys' with a deviant behavior pattern. Few interactions between country and other correlates were significant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Common correlates can be identified across countries. Older siblings' and peers' substance have a strong impact on adolescents' use. Preventive interventions should include all substances with addictive potential.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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