5195.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 3:45 PM

Abstract #14254

Violence exposure and participation among adolescents treated for substance abuse problems

Mary Jo Larson, PhD, MPA, Laura Smart, PhD, and Brooke Harrow, PhD. New England Research Institutes, 9 Galen Street, Watertown, MA 02472, 617 923 7747, mjlarson@neri.org

This study reports on violent events in the recent past among adolescents currently receiving substance abuse treatment in Massachusetts. Baseline risk factors include: alcohol and drug use severity, family conflict, gender, and race/ethnicity. Multivariate regression models will investigate the impact of substance abuse treatment on risk of violence at 6 months follow-up. Data come from in-person research interviews with 288 adolescents and a projected 276 6-month follow-up interviews (96% follow-up rate). Of study adolescents: 32% are female; 4% black, 15% other ethnic/race, 81% white; 8% ages 12-14; 86% ages 15-17; 6% ages 18 or 19. Substantial violence exposure in the prior 6 months was reported: being cut or stabbed (23%); being shot (3%); having knife pulled on them (41%). More than one-third (36%) witnessed a murder or murder attempt in their lifetime. In the prior 6 months, 18% witnessed a murder or murder attempt; 44% witnessed a shooting or stabbing, and the majority (65%) witnessed other types of violence or abuse. Study adolescents engaged in violent behavior in the prior 6 months: 32% pulled a knife or gun on someone; 14% shot or stabbed someone; 24% carried a gun on at least 6 days during the past month (39% at least one day). The majority of subjects are alcohol dependent or alcohol abusers (61%) and dependent or abusers of other drugs (83%); many received mental health/substance abuse care in the 6 months prior to study entry in: general hospitals (20%); psychiatric hospitals (18%); residential treatment (24%); and jail (29%).

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of presentation, participants will be able to : (a) list risk factors associated with violent events among adolescent substance abusers; (b) describe the independent role of alcohol and drug use severity; (c) discuss the potential role of substance abuse treatment as a violence prevention strategy

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Substance Abuse

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA