219188 Alcohol Use Predictors among Detained Adolescents: Influence of Both Parental and Youth Perspectives

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sanna Thompson, PhD , School of Social Work, University of Texas, Austin, TX
Katherine Montgomery, MSSW , School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
Kimberly Bender, PhD , Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver, Denver, CO
Background and Purpose: Youth and their parents may offer differing perspectives concerning youth behavior; however, limited research exists that examines the extent to which these differing perspectives are useful in understanding detained youths' substance use. This study compares youth-reported and parent-reported individual, family, and peer predictors of youth alcohol use/abuse.

Methods: Participants included adolescents placed in a detention center for non-criminal behaviors (N=150) and their parents (N=89). Similar self-report questionnaires were asked of youth and their parents. Measures focused on 1) youth problem behaviors; 2) peer influences and 3) family factors. Separate logistic and multiple regression analyses examined factors associated with adolescents alcohol use from the perspective of youth and parents.

Results: Logistic regression analyses of youth self-reports revealed that peer substance use, running away from home, smoking cigarettes and smoked marijuana increased the odds of substance use. Logistic regression of parents' reports demonstrated that parents who were Caucasian or who had children run away from home more likely to have a child who drank alcohol. Multiple regression analyses also indicated that fathers who reported a lack of social support and had children who used a variety of drugs predicted greater alcohol use, F(6,27)=4.39, p<.001.

Conclusion: Youths' reports highlighted individual and peer influences, while parents offered insights into potential family dynamics affecting the youth's substance use. When assessing youths' needs in juvenile detention centers, parents' perceptions should be included in treatment planning as they offer unique perspectives regarding the psychosocial functioning, health, and well-being of their adolescent children.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Differentiate parental and youth perspectives regarding youths substance use behaviors among detained adolescents. Identify predictors of substance use among detailed adolescents. Provide insight into thorough psychosocial treatment planning.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Alcohol Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I participated in conducting the research for this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.