Temporal relationship between substance use and delinquent behavior among young psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents

Sara J. Becker*, Jessica E. Nargiso, Jennifer C. Wolff, Kristen M. Uhl, Valerie A. Simon, Anthony Spirito, Mitchell J. Prinstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is considerable evidence linking substance use and delinquent behavior among adolescents. However, the nature and temporal ordering of this relationship remain uncertain, particularly among early adolescents and those with significant psychopathology. This study examined the temporal ordering of substance use and delinquent behavior in a sample of psychiatrically hospitalized early adolescents. Youth (N = 108) between the ages of 12 and 15 years completed three assessments over 18 months following hospitalization. Separate cross-lagged panel models examined the reciprocal relationship between delinquent behavior and two types of substance use (e.g., alcohol and marijuana). Results provided evidence of cross-lagged effects for marijuana: Delinquent behavior at 9 months predicted marijuana use at 18 months. No predictive effects were found between alcohol use and delinquent behavior over time. Findings demonstrate the stability of delinquent behavior and substance use among young adolescents with psychiatric concerns. Furthermore, results highlight the value of examining alcohol and marijuana use outcomes separately to better understand the complex pathways between substance use and delinquent behavior among early adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-259
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Alcohol
  • Cross-lagged panel modeling
  • Delinquent behavior
  • Marijuana

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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