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J Prim Prev. 2008 Nov;29(6):465-77. doi: 10.1007/s10935-008-0156-6. Epub 2008 Nov 15.

Perceived parental and peer disapproval toward substances: influences on adolescent decision-making.

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Community Research and Services Team, University of Rhode Island, The Shepard Building Room 236, 80 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903, USA.


This study investigated the relative influence of perceived parent and peer disapproval for using drugs on youth intentions to use drugs. In a cross-sectional design, sixth and eighth grade students (N = 1,649) completed surveys that included measures of parent disapproval, peer disapproval, and intentions to use drugs in the future. Parent influences were more salient for sixth graders, whereas peer influences were predominant for eighth graders. Peer disapproval was significantly evident in the sixth grade sample, as was parent disapproval in the eighth grade sample. Additionally, girls' drug use intentions were higher than were boys'. These findings suggest that parents can have a robust protective role over and above peer influences and that girls' intentions to use substances deserve increased attention. Editors' Strategic Implications: These findings, if replicated, should help practitioners develop developmentally appropriate strategies and programs for substance use prevention.

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