Associations between family member deployment and the co-occurrence of substance use and negative affect among adolescents
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
: 2:56 p.m. - 3:14 p.m.
Substance use in adolescence has been found to co-occur with poor mental health. This is of particular interest among military-connected youth in the United States who may experience stress associated with family member deployments and may be at increased risk for both substance use and depressed mood. The present study sought to explore predictors of concurrent substance use and negative affect in a normative sample of military and not military-connected youth. Data are from a sub-sample of the California Healthy Kids Survey (n=14,149). Items in the present analyses included: present familial military affiliation (no one, parent, and sibling), number of deployments (none, one, two or more), gender, grade, and race/ethnicity. Substance use items assessed whether the youth reported past 30 days use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, or other drugs concurrent with self-reports of negative affect (i.e., not feeling good about life). Rates of co-occurrence were highest for those reporting they have a sibling serving in the military (11.3%) and for those reporting two or more family member deployments (10.3%). Logistic regression revealed that military connection was not significantly associated with co-occurrence. However, reporting two or more compared to no familial deployments resulted in a 70% increase in likelihood of co-occurrence (OR=1.71, 95% CI=1.39-2.1). These results seem to indicate that the experiences associated with deployment may increase the likelihood of concurrent recent substance use and negative affect. Interventions should target adaptive coping strategies to aid military-connected youth in handling multiple deployments of their family member.
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe differences in prevalence of concurrent past 30 day substance use and negative affect among military and not military-connected youth.
Discuss correlates of concurrent substance use and negative affect among military and not military-connected youth.
Keyword(s): Adolescent Health, Co-morbid
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have co-authored several peer review publications and conducted studies related to describing the prevalence of co-occurring adolescent behavioral health risks and their correlates. My work focuses on the behavioral health of vulnerable adolescent populations including racial minorities and military-connected youth.
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.