Substance use protective factors in a national multi-racial/ethnic sample of adolescents
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This study was a secondary analysis of the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, 2003 (NSDUH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA, 2004). The sub-sample for the protective factors study was all respondents falling within the age range of 12 to 17. This sample contained 18,204 cases. The research questions examined how the protective factors of parental monitoring, school attachment, religiosity, and peer disapproval of substance use are related to the substance use behaviors of adolescents. Complex sample logistic regression and linear regression analyses were conducted on the weighted sample to test the hypotheses. Among the protective factors, the peer disapproval of substance use index (β = -.278) was the strongest predictor of protection against alcohol use. Religiosity (β = -.085) and parental monitoring (β = -.0.66) both provided protection for alcohol use, although to a lesser degree than peer disapproval. For initiation of inhalant and illicit drug use other than marijuana those reporting higher levels of protection on the indices had less odds for substance initiation than those reporting lower levels of protection. The study found that the effect of the protective factors was not the same across race/ethnic groups, SES categories or gender, suggesting moderating effects. However, conducting the moderator analyses added less than 1% to the explained variance, as such the strongest effects on adolescent substance use came from the protective factor indices. The associations found between protective factors and adolescent substance use behavior suggests that these are important targets for adolescent substance use prevention programs.