Home > Substance misuse and behavioral adjustment problems in Irish adolescents: examining contextual risk and social proximal factors.

Fitzgerald, Amanda and Maguire, Jane and Dooley, Barbara (2016) Substance misuse and behavioral adjustment problems in Irish adolescents: examining contextual risk and social proximal factors. Substance Use & Misuse , 51 , (13) , pp. 1790-1809.

BACKGROUND: Using an ecological perspective to examine the roles of contextual factors and proximal social processes, the current study examined problem behavior among adolescents.

OBJECTIVE: The study examined how family, peer, and school processes mediate the relationship between cumulative contextual risk and problem behavior, and whether these mediating relationships are moderated by gender.

METHOD: Data were obtained from the My World Survey Second Level, a cross-sectional national survey assessing risk and protective factors of mental health among 6062 adolescents aged 12-19 years (M = 14.93, SD = 1.62). Using risk factors from socioeconomic, community, and family levels, a cumulative contextual risk index (CCRI) was created to identify adolescents at increased risk of problem behavior in Ireland. Conditional process analysis examined whether gender moderated the relationship between the CCRI and problem behaviors (alcohol behavior, poorer behavioral adjustment, and problematic substance use) as mediated by five proximal social variables, family cohesion, mother criticism, father criticism, peer connectedness, and school connectedness.

RESULTS: Using Hayes' (2013) SPSS macro for conditional process analyses, with age as a covariate, gender was shown to moderate the mediated relationships between CCRI and problem behaviors, via mother criticism and peer connectedness. Of note, a positive association was observed between high peer connectedness and alcohol risk behavior, highlighting the need to examine additional aspects of peer context including group norms and peer pressure.

The study provides valuable and practical implications for informing research, interventions, and social policy at family, peer, and school levels.

Item Type:Article
Page Range:pp. 1790-1809
Publisher:Informa healthcare
Accession Number:HRB (Available)
Subjects:A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Prevalence > Problem substance use
F Concepts in psychology > Attitude and behaviour > Behaviour
L Social psychology and related concepts > Interpersonal interaction and group dynamics > Peer relations
L Social psychology and related concepts > Marital relations > Family and kinship > Family relations
T Demographic characteristics > Adolescent / youth (teenager / young person)
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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