The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

3284.0: Monday, November 11, 2002 - Board 3

Abstract #44262

A cross-national comparison of risk and protective factors for adolescent substance use

Jennifer M. Beyers, PhD1, John Toumbourou, PhD2, Michael Arthur, PhD1, Richard F. Catalano, PhD1, and J. David Hawkins, PhD1. (1) School of Social Work/Social Development Research Group, University of Washington, 9725 3rd Avenue NE., Suite 401, Seattle, WA 98115-2024, 206-616-8572,, (2) Centre for Adolescent Health, University of Melbourne, William Buckland House, 2 Gatehouse St., Parkville Victoria, 3052, Australia

This study explores differences between the United States and Australia in levels of risk and protective factors for substance use and their relations to various substance-using behaviors. The two countries are similar on many background variables, but are different in their approaches to substance use prevention policy: Australia subscribes to more of a harm-minimization approach, whereas U.S. policy is oriented toward the goal of abstinence. A U.S.-based survey measuring risk factors and protective factors for youth problem behaviors was modified for use in Australia. The survey was administered to representative probability samples of middle and high school students in the states of Oregon (N=18,771) and Maine (N=21,305) in Spring 1998 and in Victoria, Australia (N=8695) in Spring 1999. Regardless of expected differences in many substance use prevalence rates, we hypothesize that most relations between risk and protective factors and substance use will be similar across countries. However, because of the different policy contexts, we also expect there to be some differences. For example, we predict that community risk factors such as availability of drugs will be associated with various substance-using behaviors to a similar degree in both countries. But compared to the U.S., individual high-risk behaviors, such as delinquency, may be less related to moderate alcohol use in Australia because moderate drinking is more normative in Australia. Information gained from the study may have important implications for the universal applicability and effectiveness of prevention models.

Learning Objectives: After reviewing the poster/paper presentation, the participant (learner) will be able to

Keywords: Substance Abuse, International

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
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.

Alcohol and Other Drug Use among Teens: Environmental and Resilience Factors Poster Session

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA