Substance use in rural adolescents: The impact of social capital, anti-social capital, and social capital deprivation

Caroline B R Evans, Katie Stalker, Roderick A. Rose, Paul R. Smokowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Middle- and high-school substance use is a pressing public health problem in the United States. Despite similar or, in some cases, elevated rates of substance use among rural youth, much of the extant research on adolescent substance use has focused on urban areas. The current study aims to uncover forms of social capital (e.g., ethnic identity), social capital deprivation (e.g., parent-child conflict), and anti-social capital (e.g., delinquent friends) that impact the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana in a sample of middle- and high-school students from the rural south. It was hypothesized that social capital factors would be associated with decreased substance use while social capital deprivation and anti-social capital factors would be associated with increased substance use. The hypotheses were tested using logistic regression models with generalized estimating equations. The findings indicated that for middle school youth, anti-social capital in the form of aggression and delinquent friends was significantly associated with an increased likelihood of using alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana. For high school students, anti-social capital in the form of aggression and delinquent friends and social capital deprivation in the form of neighborhood crime were significantly associated with an increased likelihood of using alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana. Violent behavior was also significantly associated with an increased likelihood of using marijuana. Females reported less substance use in both middle and high school; reports of use increased with age. Implications are discussed. Given the salience of social capital deprivation, substance use programs should emphasize the skills necessary to avoid or disengage from antisocial relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 29 2016

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Keywords

  • adolescence
  • Rural
  • social capital
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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