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Bonding to Parents and Family

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There is a good deal of evidence that a young person's bonding or attachment to their family is an important restraining factor in relation to drug use. In the CORE SCALES below, the items are built around the extent to which respondents perceive that they get on well with their family and on the importance that they attach to this relationship.
Relevant Studies
Family and drug use
Brook, J.S., Brook, D.W., Gordon, A.S., Whiteman, M., & Cohen, P. (1990). The psychosocial etiology of adolescent drug use: A family interactional approach. Genetic, Social and General Psychology Monographs, 116, 111-267.

This paper put forward an explanation of drug use based on 'Family Interaction Theory'. According to this model, the lack of parental supervision and support contributes to weak family attachments, adolescent personality, involvement with substance using peers and actual substance sue. Thus, the model implies that some drug use can be prevented in the long run by teaching parents how to supervise and support their children. In line with this suggestion, their research shows that higher levels of support and encouragement from parent are less likely to become involved in substance use than are those who do no receive such encouragement.

Overview of adolescent drug use
Petraitis, J., Flay, B.R., & Miller, T.Q. (1995). Reviewing theories of adolescent substance use: Organising pieces in the puzzle. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 67-96.

This article reviews several theories of experimental drug use among adolescents include those that emphasise (i) substance-specific cognitions, (ii) social learning processes, (iii) commitment to conventional values and attachment to families, and (iv) interpersonal processes. The paper addressed the similarities and differences between the various explanations and examines the conceptual boundaries of each one. The paper attempts to integrate the existing explanations by organising their central constructs into three distinct types of influence (social, attitudinal and interpersonal) and three distinct levels of influence (viz. proximal, distal and ultimate).

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Page last updated: Thursday, 15 July 2004