Peer group reputation and smoking and alcohol consumption in early adolescence
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceAddictive Behaviors, 31, 3, (2006), pp. 440-449
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
SW OZ BSI ON
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being; Developmental Psychopathology
Research has shown that substance use might serve beneficial, developmental functions for adolescents, in particular concerning young people's functioning in friendships and intimate relationships. Nonetheless, a major problem in these studies is that information on social functioning is based on adolescent's self-reports, which undoubtedly might lead to an overestimation of the social functions of substance use. In the present study, we collected data of 3361 early and mid-adolescents at secondary schools in the Netherlands. Information on individual student's social behavior and psychological traits were gathered by using sociometric measures. All respondents were asked to evaluate all classmates on measures, such as sociability, self-confidence, achievement, withdrawal, and aggression. Person- and variable-centered analyses clearly showed that highest levels of smoking and drinking were found in adolescents who score high on sociability and self-confidence, and relatively low on aggression–inattentiveness, achievement–withdrawal, and emotionality–nervousness. This suggests that beneficial functions of substance use are not only in the eyes of the beholder, at least not in that of the individual drinker or smoker.
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