162888 Relationship of family functioning and self-image to substance abuse among adolescents

Monday, November 5, 2007

Vincent Merrill #envr, PhD , Department of Health Science, California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
Jie W. Weiss, PhD , Department of Health Science, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
Kathy Akagha, BS , Health Science, California State University Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
This study examined the predictors of marijuana and alcohol use among culturally adolescents. An ethnically diverse sample of 3,515 middle and high school students from three school districts in Los Angeles County were surveyed on family functioning, self-image, pubic-image, and weight concerns, along with measures of smoking behaviors and marijuana and alcohol use. Of the sample, 45% reported they had consumed alcohol and 19.7% had used marijuana over the past year. Significant differences were observed among middle and high school students as well as ethnicity for both marijuana and alcohol use (P<.01). Boys were also significantly more likely to have used marijuana then girls (P<.01), but there were no gender difference found for alcohol consumption. Our results indicated that family function and self-image are significant predictors of marijuana and alcohol use within adolescent populations. Students who reported a low level of family function were more than 3 times more likely to have used marijuana (OR=3.20, 95%CI=2.573.99) and were more than twice as likely to have consumed alcohol (OR=2.3, 95%CI=1.98--2.77) than students with a high level of family function. Similarly, adolescents with a low self-image were more likely to have used marijuana (OR=1.55; 95%CI=1.271.90) and alcohol (OR=1.37; 95%CI=1.161.60) in the past year. Understanding why adolescents abuse substances may therefore be useful to health educators in the development of prevention programs.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify risk factors for substance abuse in ethnically diverse adolescent populations. 2. Assess the influence of family function and self-image on substance abuse initiation in adolescents. 3. Discuss the implications of psychosocial factors on adolescent health intervention development.

Keywords: Adolescents, Substance Abuse Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.