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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2014 Jan;40(1):44-50. doi: 10.3109/00952990.2013.844821. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

Latent class analysis of substance use among adolescents presenting to urban primary care clinics.

Author information

1
National Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center, Department of Veterans Affairs , Ann Arbor, MI , USA .

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Polysubstance use during adolescence is a significant public health concern. However, few studies have investigated patterns of substance use during this developmental window within the primary care setting.

OBJECTIVES:

This study used an empirical method to classify adolescents into substance use groups, and examines correlates of the empirically defined groups.

METHODS:

Data came from patients, ages 12-18 years, presenting to an urban, primary care community health clinics (Federally Qualified Health Centers) in two cities in the Midwestern United States (nā€‰=ā€‰1664). Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to identify classes of substance users. Multinomial logistic regression was used to examine variables associated with class membership.

RESULTS:

LCA identified three classes: class 1 (64.5%) exhibited low probabilities of all types of substance use; class 2 (24.6%) was characterized by high probabilities of cannabis use and consequences; and class 3 (10.9%) had the highest probabilities of substance use, including heavy episodic drinking and misuse of prescription drugs. Those in class 2 and class 3 were more likely to be older and have poorer grades, poorer health, higher levels of psychological distress and more sexual partners than those in class 1. Individuals in class 3 were also less likely to be African-American than those in class 1.

CONCLUSION:

Findings provide novel insight into the patterns of substance use among adolescents presenting to low-income urban primary care clinics. Future research should examine the efficacy of interventions that address the complex patterns of substance use and concomitant health concerns among adolescents.

PMID:
24219231
PMCID:
PMC4346305
DOI:
10.3109/00952990.2013.844821
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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