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Perceived Access to Drugs

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Perceived access to substances is a strong predictor of use and is an important risk factor. The items below focus on this important feature, (perceived access), rather than attempting to gauge the extent to which such access is indeed possible.
Instrument
Relevant Studies
Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems
Hawkins, J.D., Catalano, R.F., & Miller, J.Y. (1992). Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: Implications for substance abuse prevention. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 64 - 105.

This paper examines the risk focused approach to prevention of substance use. The paper examines the main factors that have been identified as conducive to risk of drug use and considers ways in which these factors can be addressed through the application of studies both to high risk and general population studies.

Availability of substances to students
Klepp, K., Jones-Webb, R., Wagenaar, A.C., & Short, B. (1996). Measure of alcohol and tobacco availability to underage students. Addictive Behaviours, 21, 585 - 595.

This study is of particular relevance in the design of items on measurement of perception of availability. The test-retest reliability and the internal consistency of perceived availability measures used in the CMCA (Communities Mobilising for Changes on Alcohol) and the TPOP(Tobacco Policy Options for Prevention) student surveys. 111 9th grade students completed the CMCA and 70 8th graders completed the TPOP questionnaire. Each population completed its respective measure twice 26 apart. No statistically significant differences in the distribution of demographic variables, alcohol or tobacco use variables across administration was found. The scales assessing perceived access to alcohol and tobacco had high internal consistency but moderate to low retest correlations. Single item measures of sources of alcohol and tobacco and reported buy attempts also had low to moderate test-retest correlates.

A healthy environment and substance use
Taylor, S.E., & Repetti, R.L. (1997). Health Psychology: What is an unhealthy environment and how does it get under the skin. Annual Review Psychology, 48, 411-447.

This review explores the role of the environment in creating health disorders including substance use. A general framework for studying the nesting of social environments and the multiple pathways by which environmental factors may adversely affect health is offered. Treating social background and race as contextual factors, aspects of community, work, family and peer interaction for predictors of health outcomes are examined. Stress, coping skills, health habits and behaviours are examined. It is concluded that unhealthy environments are those that threaten safety, undermine the creation of social ties, and are conflicting, abusive or violent. Healthy environments on the other hand provide safety, opportunities for social integration and the ability to predict/control aspects of the environment.

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Page last updated: Thursday, 15 July 2004