Are adolescents with high socioeconomic status more likely to engage in alcohol and illicit drug use in early adulthood?

Edward Hines Jr VA Hospital, Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care, (151H), Bldg 1, B251, Hines, IL 60141, USA.
Substance Abuse Treatment Prevention and Policy (Impact Factor: 1.16). 08/2010; 5(1):19. DOI: 10.1186/1747-597X-5-19
Source: PubMed


Previous literature has shown a divergence by age in the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and substance use: adolescents with low SES are more likely to engage in substance use, as are adults with high SES. However, there is growing evidence that adolescents with high SES are also at high risk for substance abuse. The objective of this study is to examine this relationship longitudinally, that is, whether wealthier adolescents are more likely than those with lower SES to engage in substance use in early adulthood.
The study analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health (AddHealth), a longitudinal, nationally-representative survey of secondary school students in the United States. Logistic regression models were analyzed examining the relationship between adolescent SES (measured by parental education and income) and substance use in adulthood, controlling for substance use in adolescence and other covariates.
Higher parental education is associated with higher rates of binge drinking, marijuana and cocaine use in early adulthood. Higher parental income is associated with higher rates of binge drinking and marijuana use. No statistically significant results are found for crystal methamphetamine or other drug use. Results are not sensitive to the inclusion of college attendance by young adulthood as a sensitivity analysis. However, when stratifying by race, results are consistent for white non-Hispanics, but no statistically significant results are found for non-whites. This may be a reflection of the smaller sample size of non-whites, but may also reflect that these trends are driven primarily by white non-Hispanics.
Previous research shows numerous problems associated with substance use in young adults, including problems in school, decreased employment, increases in convictions of driving under the influence (DUI) and accidental deaths. Much of the previous literature is focused on lower SES populations. Therefore, it is possible that teachers, parents and school administrators in wealthier schools may not perceive as great to address substance abuse treatment in their schools. This study can inform teachers, parents, school administrators and program officials of the need for addressing drug abuse prevention activities to this population of students.

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    • "Third, parents' socioeconomic status might be an important factor explaining parents' feelings in their parenting role. Parental education has been used as a proxy for parents' socioeconomic status (Hamilton, Noh, & Adlaf, 2009; Humensky, 2010), so therefore we controlled for parents' education (coded as 1 = elementary school, 2 = high school, 3 = university) in the analyses. After testing the models including adolescents' gender, age, and parents' education as control variables, we excluded the control variables that showed no significant associations with the other variables in the models and conducted the same analyses again. "
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescents' hyperactivity, impulsivity, and attention problems (HIA) have been shown to make parents feel powerless. In this study, the authors examined whether these feelings were dependent on parents' experiences with their older children. Two models that offer different predictions of how parents make use of their earlier experiences when raising their later-born children were explored: the learning-from-experience model and the spillover model. The authors used reports from 372 parents with 1 child (Mage = 11.92) and 198 parents with 2 children (Mage = 11.89 and 14.35) from a small town in a European country. The results did not support a learning-from-experience process. Instead, consistent with a spillover process, parents felt particularly powerless about their younger children with HIA if they also felt powerless about their older children. This study suggests that parents' experiences of raising their older children are important for their reactions to HIA in their younger children
    Journal of Marriage and Family 08/2013; 75(4). DOI:10.1111/jomf.12038 · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    • "Gender was included as a control variable, given observed differences in levels of and changes in alcohol use and heavy drinking across males and females [5] [6] [22]. Parental education was also included as a covariate, given its association with both alcohol use [23] [24] and academic attainment [25e27]. We compared patterns of heavy drinking among four different groups: noncollege youth, college withdrawers, 2-year college graduates, and 4-year college graduates, given prior evidence supporting differences in heavy drinking among these groups [13] [21]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: The current study compared longitudinal relationships between college education and patterns of heavy drinking from early adolescence to adulthood for Caucasians and African-Americans. Methods: We analyzed data from 9,988 non-Hispanic Caucasian and African-American participants from all four waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Growth curve modeling tested differences in rates of change and levels of heavy drinking from ages 13 to 31 years among non-college youth, college withdrawers, 2-year college graduates, and 4-year college graduates, and compared these differences for Caucasians and African-Americans. Results: There were significant racial differences in relationships between college education with both changes in and levels of heavy drinking. Rates of change of heavy drinking differed significantly across the college education groups examined for Caucasians but not for African-Americans. In addition, Caucasians who graduated from 4-year colleges showed the highest levels of heavy drinking after age 20 years, although differences among the four groups diminished by the early 30s. In contrast, for African-Americans, graduates from 2- or 4-year colleges did not show higher levels of heavy drinking from ages 20 to 31 years than the non-college group. Instead, African-American participants who withdrew from college without an associate's, bachelor's, or professional degree consistently exhibited the highest levels of heavy drinking from ages 26 to 31 years. Conclusions: The relationship between college education and increased levels of heavy drinking in young adulthood is significant for Caucasians but not African-Americans. Conversely, African-Americans are likely to be more adversely affected than are Caucasians by college withdrawal.
    Journal of Adolescent Health 05/2013; 53(3). DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.04.003 · 3.61 Impact Factor
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    • "It is possible that well-off adolescents present increased risk of accessing alcohol since they declare a more intense, peer-oriented sociability (Peretti-Watel et al., 2006) and have more financial resources at hand that decrease the relative cost of alcohol. This pattern has been found in particular with poor parental monitoring of adolescents' expenditures, and alcohol and substance use in different cultural contexts (Arillo-Santillan et al., 2005; Bellis et al., 2007; Humensky, 2010). At the same time, frequent use is subject to the influence of social and cultural determinants, such as greater knowledge and concern about the negative effects of alcohol abuse (Van Oers et al., 1999) including explicit guidelines for moderate drinking (Neumark, Rahav, & Jaffe, 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: This study investigates the association of the family occupational category (F-OC) with adolescent alcohol use and its potential variation according to the frequency of use. Methods: A national survey representative of adolescents aged 17 living in continental France conducted in 2005 (n = 29,393). Three outcomes were considered: overall use describes the drinking status (lifetime abstinence, use before the month prior the survey, use in the month prior the survey) without considering the frequency of use; last month use and binge drinking detail the frequency of use (1-5 uses, 6-9, 10-19 and 20+ uses) and of binge drinking (0, 1-2, 3-5, 6+ episodes of 5+ glasses in a single occasion) of the previous month users. F-OC was described in 7 categories based on the highest occupational category of the parents (from managers/professionals to unemployed). Analysis used generalised logistic regressions, controlling for gender, F-OC, parental separation, autonomy, other substance use, being out of school and sociability. Results: There was a double gradient: adolescents from high F-OC families were more often experimenters and drinkers during the previous month whereas those of low F-OC families were more often binge drinkers. Adolescents from farmers' families were the most at risk for frequent use and binge drinking in the last month. Interactions tests show that the effect of F-OC was not significantly related to gender. Conclusions: Except for gender, adolescents' patterns of use reflect those observed in the adult population. Mechanisms that favour and hinder progression in alcohol use should be studied in various socioeconomic groups.
    The International journal on drug policy 01/2013; 24(4). DOI:10.1016/j.drugpo.2012.12.007 · 2.54 Impact Factor
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