Teen social networks and depressive symptoms-substance use associations: Developmental and demographic variation

Andrea M. Hussong, Susan T. Ennett, Daniel Mc Neish, W. Andrew Rothen Berg, Veronica Cole, Nisha C. Gottfredson, Robert W. Faris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The current study examined whether an adolescent’s standing within a school-bounded social network moderated the association between depressive symptoms and substance use across adolescence as a function of developmental and demographic factors (gender, parental education, and race/ethnicity). Method: The sample of 6,776 adolescents participated in up to seven waves of data collection spanning 6th to 12th grade. Results: Results of latent growth models showed that lower integration into the social network exacerbates risk for depression-related substance use in youth, particularly around the high school transition, but social status acted as both a risk factor and a protective factor at different points in development for different youth. Findings also varied as a function of youth gender and parental education status. Conclusions: Together these fi ndings suggest that lower integration into the social network exacerbates risk for depression-related substance use in youth, particularly around the high school transition in general as well as just before the high school transition in those with lower parental education or just after the high school transition in males. Thus, the risky impact of social isolation appears more consistent across this period. Social status, however, showed a more varied pattern and further study is needed to understand the sometimes risky and sometimes protective effects of social status on depression-related substance use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)770-780
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of studies on alcohol and drugs
Volume79
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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