Analysis of data gathered over the past 20 years since the first National Household Survey on Drug Abuse reveals consistent gender patterns of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use within age cohorts. Gender patterns between different age cohorts also emerge upon cross sectional analysis of the data. For example, in the 12-17 year-old cohort, gender differences in the reported past month use of alcohol, marijuana, and cigarettes are often small or nonexistent. Thus, despite cyclical patterns in past month substance usage trends across the years, the shapes of the curves depicting usage by adolescent males and females are almost identical. In contrast, in the 18-25 year-old cohort males consistently exhibit higher usage rates than females, and general trends in usage between the genders are not uniform across the years. In the 26-34 year-old cohort a marked reduction in substance use is the predominant pattern. In respondents older than 35 the gender gap narrows in the use of most substances. Graphical representations of numerous trends are presented, along with a review of research on societal influences and the nature of male-female relationships influencing these trends. Examination of trends presented has important implications for targeting substance use/abuse prevention messages to adolescents and other groups.
Learning Objectives: 1. Identify trends in use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs among different age cohorts 2. Describe the relationship between adolescent males and females in substance use trends, as compared to other age cohorts 3. Discuss the implications of these trends in targeting age and gender appropriate substance use/abuse prevention messages
Keywords: Drug Use, Gender
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