This chapter reviewed a variety of influences on adolescent substance use. It has discussed some of the principal theories put forth to explain adolescent substance use behaviors, as well as internal and external factors that influence those behaviors. The mechanisms that influence adolescents' decisions to use or refrain from using substances are myriad and combine to form complex pathways to behavior. These pathways of influence often consist of interdependent mechanisms of social and personal influence that continue to change over the lifespan. Research has demonstrated that as adolescents' age, parental influence is often eclipsed by peer influences, both in the form of direct influences (e.g., peer behaviors) and indirect influences (e.g., media portrayals of substance use). Although the relative strength of these influences may change, they still play a role in determining substance use behaviors. The nature of social influences continues to evolve over the lifespan and over time as technology changes the way we interact with others. Similarly, the nature of interventions has changed and will need to continue to adapt to the changing mechanisms of social influence in order to effectively prevent and reduce adolescent substance use.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Addictions|
|Subtitle of host publication||A Social Psychological Perspective|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis Inc.|
|Number of pages||29|
|State||Published - Dec 22 2015|
ASJC Scopus subject areas