Child, Parent, and Peer Predictors of Early-Onset Substance Use: A Multisite Longitudinal Study
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Adolescent, Age of Onset, Child, Child Behavior Disorders, Female, Humans, Logistic Models, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Parenting, Parents, Peer Group, Risk Factors, Social Adjustment, Substance-Related Disorders, United States
The purpose of this study was to identify kindergarten-age predictors of early-onset substance use from demographic, environmental, parenting, child psychological, behavioral, and social functioning domains. Data from a longitudinal study of 295 children were gathered using multiple-assessment methods and multiple informants in kindergarten and 1st grade. Annual assessments at ages 10, 11, and 12 reflected that 21% of children reported having initiated substance use by age 12. Results from longitudinal logistic regression models indicated that risk factors at kindergarten include being male, having a parent who abused substances, lower levels of parental verbal reasoning, higher levels of overactivity, more thought problems, and more social problem solving skills deficits. Children with no risk factors had less than a 10% chance of initiating substance use by age 12, whereas children with 2 or more risk factors had greater than a 50% chance of initiating substance use. Implications for typology, etiology, and prevention are discussed.