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Parental Risk Factors

User Information
Parental risk factors can be divided into broad categories that include the following: (i) factors specific to drugs, especially approval, (ii) factors relating to supervision and regulation, and (iii) home atmosphere, especially parental conflict. The CORE SCALES below focus on each of these areas.
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.

Marital conflict and drug use
Grych, J.H., Seid, M., & Finchman, F.D. (1992). Assessing marital conflict from the child's perspective; The children Perception of Interpersonal Conflict Scale. Child Development, 63, 558-572.

This questionnaire is of importance in relation to a variety of consequences of parental conflict including drug use. The CPIC (Children Perception of Interpersonal Conflict Scale) was validated in two samples of 9-12 year old children. Three factor- analytically derived sub-scales demonstrated acceptable levels of consistency as well as test-retest reliability. The validity of the conflict scale was supported by significant relations with both parental reports and other indices of adjustment. Given that family conflict has been shown to be a risk-factor for drug use, the CPIC scale may be of considerable value in measurement of such conflict.

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).


Page last updated: Thursday, 15 July 2004