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Problem Behaviour

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A large body of evidence testifies to the relationship between self-reported problem behaviour and drug use. Obviously the forms of problem behaviour will be influenced by the cultural context of the evaluation and by the nature of the intervention.
Instrument
Relevant Studies
Reducing the risk of drug involvement
Harrmon, M.A. (1993). Reducing the risk of drug involvement among early adolescents: An evaluation of drug abuse resistance education (DARE). Evaluation Review, 17, 221 - 239.

The study by Harmon (1993) examined the effectiveness of the DARE programme in South Carolina, by comparing 341 fifth grade students to a comparable control group. Significant differences were found for belief in pro-social norms, association with drug using peers, positive peer association, attitudes to substance use and assertiveness. No differences were found however, on tobacco and alcohol use, in the last year or during the last month. The You and Your School Questionnaire were used to measure DARE objectives, and other factors associated with drug use. The questionnaire consists of 10 scales including Belief in pro-social norms, Social Integration, Commitment to school, Rebellious behaviour, Peer drug modelling, Attitudes against substance use, Attachment to school, Self-esteem, Assertiveness and Positive peer modelling.

Protective and risk factors in problem behaviour including drug use
Jessor, R., Van Den Bos, J., Vanderryn, J., Costa, F.M., & Turbin, M.S. (1995). Protective factors in adolescent problem behaviour: Moderator effects and developmental change. Developmental Psychology, 31, 923-933.

This study investigated drug use as part of a syndrome of problem behaviour including delinquency and sexual precocity. The study investigated the role of protective as well as risk factors in relation to such behaviour. Six protective factors were measured including positive orientation to school, positive orientation to health, intolerance of deviance, positive relation with adults perceived regulatory controls, and friend models for conventional behaviour. Risk factors included low expectation of success, low self-esteem, disengagement from societal norms, friend models for problem behaviour, and low grade point average.

The measure of problem behaviour was by means of the Multiple Problem Behaviour Index (MPBI). This included four areas of adolescent problem behaviour including drinking, delinquency, marijuana involvement, and sexual experience. The measures of marijuana involvement include lifetime use, frequency of use, and the number of times being high.

Social support and drug use
Wills, T.A., & Cleary, S.D. (1996). How are social support effects mediated? A test with parental support and adolescent substance use. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 937-952.

This research tested how the effects of parental emotional and instrumental support on marijuana use in adolescence, is mediated. Data were drawn from a sample of 1,700 US 7th-9th grade students. The main finding was that parental support had a restraining effect on substance use. The measures included in the study are: (i) parental support, (ii) negative life events, (iii) affective states, (iv) perceived competence, (v) deviance prone attitudes, (vi) coping dimensions, (vii) esteem and control, (viii) family substance use, (ix) peer substance use, (x) adolescent substance use. The item measuring marijuana was 'How often do you smoke marijuana', with responses on six point scales as follows, 'never used', 'tried once or twice', 'used four to five times', 'usually use a few times a month' 'usually use a few times a week', and 'usually use every day'.

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Page last updated: Thursday, 15 July 2004