Peer and sexual relationships in the experience of drug-dependent adolescents in a therapeutic community

Peer and sexual relationships in the experience of drug-dependent adolescents in a therapeutic community

Abar, C. C., Jackson, K. M., & Wood, M. (2014). Reciprocal Relations between Perceived Parental Knowledge and Adolescent Substance Use and Delinquency: The Moderating Role of Parent-Teen Relationship Quality. Developmental Psychology, 50(9), 2176–2187.

The current study prospectively examined hypothesized short- and long-term reciprocal relations between perceived parental knowledge and adolescent heavy episodic drinking, marijuana use, and delinquency. Using the contextual model of parenting style (Darling & Steinberg, 1993), we examined the extent to which the bidirectional nature of associations between knowledge and adolescent outcomes is dependent on a facet of parenting style: the quality of the parent-child relationship. Study showed that 5,419 students between 12 and 14 years of age at baseline (52% male) will try alcohol or will go through some type of substance abuse. Results showed significant short-term and long-term bidirectionality between perceived parental knowledge and adolescent outcomes, with parent effects on students and student effects on parents. Long-term associations across constructs were negative, whereas short-term associations were positive. These reciprocal associations were shown to differ across levels of parent-child relationship quality with regard to adolescent heavy episodic drinking and delinquency, providing support for the contextual model of parenting style. Implications for future work on parent-child bidirectional relationships and parent-based interventions are discussed.


Ly, D. B., Dudovitz, R. N., Rünger, D., Jackson, N. J., & Wong, M. D. (2021). Chaos in Schools and Its Relationship to Adolescent Risk Behaviors. Academic Pediatrics, 21(2), 329–335.

Chaos in the home is associated with worse childhood behaviors. We hypothesize chaos in the school environment might also be associated with teen risk behaviors. We analyzed data from the Reducing Inequities through Social and Educational change Follow-Up study, a natural experiment designed to examine the impact of high-performing schools on adolescent outcomes. Students reported the amount of noise, order, and control in their school environment and whether they engaged in substance use, fighting, school absenteeism, and delinquent behaviors. We conducted cross-lagged panel structural equation modeling to examine the relationship between school chaos at 10th grade with risk behaviors at 11th grade while simultaneously examining the relationship between behaviors at 10th grade with chaos at 11th grade. Among a sample of 1114 teens, 90% were Latinx and 40% were native English speakers. Students reporting more school chaos in 10th grade were more likely in 11th grade to report recent alcohol and cannabis use, physical fighting, school absenteeism, and delinquent behaviors in the last year. Cross-lagged structural equation model analyses indicate school chaos at 10th grade is linked to alcohol use and absenteeism at 11th grade, while fighting, absenteeism, and any delinquent behaviors at 10th grade are associated with more chaos at 11th grade. School engagement was not a mediating factor. Although causal relationships cannot be assumed, school chaos may be an important predictor of adolescent risk behaviors. Future studies should examine whether reducing school chaos leads to lower rates of adolescent risk behaviors.


Cullen, G. J., Walters, D., Yule, C., & O’Grady, W. (2020). Examining the Risk and Predictive Factors for Marijuana and Alcohol Use among Adolescent Youth in Out-of-Home Care. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 29(1), 88–104.

The role of the family, parenting behaviors, and parent-child relations continue to be a focal point for explaining deviant behavior. An area of research within this field that has been garnering increasing attention is the relationship between growing up in out-of-home care, health and well-being, and substance use. This study uses a sample of 1,170 youth from the Ontario Looking After Children (OnLAC) (AAR-C2-2016) project data to investigate the effects of placement type, placement disruption, behavioral characteristics, and parent-child relations on marijuana and alcohol use among a sample of youth preparing to emancipate from care. The results of multinomial logistic regression models indicate that unsupervised living placements, instability, low caregiver attachment, and self-control are all important factors that influence levels of substance use among this population. The policy implications associated with these findings are relevant to service providers and child welfare professionals as programs aimed toward youth successfully transitioning out of care remains a priority. Yet, little is known about what the child welfare system can do to decrease these risks.


Simonen, J., Kataja, K., Pirskanen, H., Holmila, M., & Tigerstedt, C. (2017). Trusting and misleading. Parents’ and children’s communication and negotiation about alcohol as described by teenagers. Addiction Research & Theory, 25(4), 342–348.

Research on parents’ and children’s interactions around alcohol issues focuses on how parenting styles and parents’ examples affect teenager’s drinking habits. In this paper, we approach the theme from the youngsters’ perspective. We ask how teenagers describe the interaction on alcohol-related issues with their parents and how they would like their parents to act during these interactions. The article applies the concept of trust, which is seen as a feature connecting all kinds of communities, and especially families. We pay attention to whether alcohol issues challenge trustful relations and give rise to contradictions and complications in the interactions between parents and children. The analysis shows the ways how trust is maintained and challenged in teenagers? accounts of communication regarding alcohol with their parents. It also shows that although trust is tested in several ways, it is essential for teenagers. Even though teenagers tell how they can mislead their parents by using strategies that challenge trust, they nevertheless highlight the importance of trusting ties with parents. Teenagers do not exclude their parents from alcohol-related discussion but expect rules, communication and authority from them. Our data suggest that teenagers also want to protect their parents from disappointments caused by their own actions. A trusting parent–child relationship, based on dialog rather than opposition, seems to play a significant role in guiding teenagers’ alcohol-related attitudes and practices.


Schulte, M. T., Ramo, D., & Brown, S. A. (2009). Gender differences in factors influencing alcohol use and drinking progression among adolescents. Clinical Psychology Review, 29(6), 535–547.

While prevalence rates for alcohol use and related disorders differ widely between adult men and women, male and female adolescents do not exhibit the same disparity in alcohol consumption. Previous research and reviews do not address the emergence of differences in drinking patterns that occur during late adolescence. Therefore, a developmental perspective is presented for understanding how various risk and protective factors associated with problematic drinking affect diverging alcohol trajectories as youth move into young adulthood. This review examines factors associated with risk for developing an alcohol use disorder in adolescent girls and boys separately. Findings indicate that certain biological (i.e., genetic risk, neurological abnormalities associated with P300 amplitudes) and psychosocial (i.e., impact of positive drinking expectancies, personality characteristics, and deviance proneness) factors appear to impact boys and girls similarly. In contrast, physiological and social changes particular to adolescence appear to differentially affect boys and girls as they transition into adulthood. Specifically, boys begin to manifest a constellation of factors that place them at greater risk for disruptive drinking: low response to alcohol, later maturation in brain structures and executive function, greater estimates of perceived peer alcohol use, and socialization into traditional gender roles. On an individual level, interventions which challenge media driven stereotypes of gender roles while simultaneously reinforcing personal values are suggested as away to strengthen adolescent autonomy in terms of healthy drinking decisions. Moreover, parents and schools must improve consistency in rules and consequences regarding teen drinking across gender to avoid mixed messages about acceptable alcohol use for boys and girls.


NATHAN, S., FOSTER, M., & FERRY, M. (2011). Peer and sexual relationships in the experience of drug-dependent adolescents in a therapeutic community. Drug & Alcohol Review, 30(4), 419–427.

Evidence for success of adolescent treatment programs, including therapeutic communities, has been found among those who complete treatment. However, there is a lack of research examining peer relationships as part of treatment experience. Given the central role of ‘community’, including peers, as agents of change in therapeutic communities, there is a need to better understand peer relationships in treatment. This ethnographic study provides a window into the dynamics of adolescent relationships in a residential treatment program. Design and Methods. Four months of participant observation, including 21 residents (15 male and 6 female) aged between 14 and 18 years—comprising all residents admitted during the study. All the data in this paper are from those who were 16 years or over. Results. The data reveal the complex peer relationships that form for some residents. Peer groups were found to provide a space for residents to feel included but more often were a mechanism to ostracise or bully others. In contrast to past studies, our study found sexual activity was widespread, in particular among girls. A lack of sex caused frustrations for some and sexual encounters were found to coincide with overt conflict between residents. Treatment programs for adolescents need to more explicitly grapple with the complexity of resident’s peer relationships, which may impact on treatment experience. Our study suggests sexual relationships may be common in treatment programs for adolescents and a cause of conflict.


Touitou, Y., Touitou, D., & Reinberg, A. (2016). Disruption of adolescents’ circadian clock: The vicious circle of media use, exposure to light at night, sleep loss and risk behaviors. Journal of Physiology – Paris, 110(4), 467–479.

Teens are spending increasing amounts of time on electronic media at night. LED bulbs of these media are enriched with a blue light component very active on the circadian clock. Adolescent sleep becomes irregular, shortened and delayed. Sleep loss is associated with several health issues e.g. fatigue, poor academic achievement, and behavioral issues. Engagement in risk behaviors such as tobacco, alcohol, cannabis and other illicit drug use has multiple negative health consequences. A sleep education program could improve sleep-promoting behavior and sleep patterns. Adolescent sleep should be considered as a matter of public health.


Cerkez, I., Culjak, Z., Zenic, N., Sekulic, D., & Kondric, M. (2015). Harmful Alcohol Drinking Among Adolescents: The Influence of Sport Participation, Religiosity, and Parental Factors. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 24(2), 94–101.

Studies that have investigated the potential protective/risk factors for alcohol drinking in Bosnia and Herzegovina and surrounding countries are lacking. The aim of this study was to examine the gender-specific protective/risk factors for harmful alcohol drinking among adolescents in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The study sample was composed of 1,015 17- to 18-year-old adolescents (426 boys and 589 girls). The logistic analysis predictors were as follows: parental monitoring, parents’ education, and sport factors. Among boys, individual sports participation, higher paternal education, and lower self-reported conflict with parents were protective factors against harmful drinking. Among girls, higher conflict with parents was the single significant risk factor for harmful alcohol drinking.


McGillicuddy, N. B., & Eliseo-Arras, R. K. (2012). Parent–adolescent report correspondence on adolescent substance abuse among teens in residential rehabilitation. Addictive Behaviors, 37(4), 456–462.

Research on the correspondence between adolescent and parent reports of adolescent substance abuse has typically been conducted on adolescent outpatient treatment samples, or on non-treatment samples. In the current study, fifty adolescents receiving residential substance abuse treatment, and their parents were assessed separately regarding the teen’s substance use (e.g., cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, other illicit drugs) during the 90days preceding adolescent treatment entry. Correspondence between reporters was for the most part fair to excellent, with observed discrepancies generally due to parents providing lower estimates of use than did adolescents. Multiple regression analysis revealed that higher discrepancy between reporters occurred when the parent was younger, when the parent encountered fewer problems due to the teen’s substance use, when the adolescent attended more probation or parole meetings, the fewer the number of days the adolescent was incarcerated, and the fewer days the adolescent lived at home prior to treatment. Results from exploratory analyses suggest that parents and adolescents are more discrepant when the assessment occurs later in the adolescent’s treatment program. Overall, results suggest that in the absence of a cooperative teen, parental report of the adolescent’s previous substance use could serve as a good proxy among families in which the adolescent is entering residential substance abuse treatment.


Skiba, D., Monroe, J., & Wodarski, J. S. (2004). Adolescent Substance Use: Reviewing the Effectiveness of Prevention Strategies. Social Work, 49(3), 343–353.

U.S. youths continue to use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs at alarmingly high rates despite a temporary downward trend in the 1980s. Among an average 500,000 individuals affected annually by substance use, youths (ages 12 to 18) rank as one of the highest groups in morbidity and mortality rates, resulting in many negative consequences. As a result the effectiveness of many prevention strategies has been called into question. This article reviews the extent and social cost of adolescent substance use; standard prevention strategies; prevention under criticism; and salient aspects of successful prevention strategies. Special attention is given to the social influence model of prevention as an effective and amenable model for social work professionals.


Request for a custom paper or place a new order

Assignment Solutions For You


Forget All Your Assignment & Essay Related Worries By Simply Filling Order Form