Adolecent Drug Use Essay Research Paper As

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Adolecent Drug Use Essay, Research Paper As adolescent mature, they encounter variety of problems that are foreign to them. Whether these dilemmas can be resolved depend greatly on individuals’ mental state, such as the ability to think and reason. A major concern in adolescent psychology is ways adolescent response to drug use. In past and present society, drugs are known to be a common way of dealing with such problems. While drugs are mostly used to cope with everyday situations, a major part of adolescents’ initiation to drugs is based on curiosity. To this extent, Huba and Bentler (1980), Kovach and Glickman (1986) conducted different experiments to explore the determinants of adolescent drug use. Huba and Bentler (1980) conducted two questionnaires, which were

completed by 1634 students ranging from seventh to ninth grade in the greater area of metropolitan Los Angeles. The objective of these surveys is to determine the difference between peer and adult influences on the initiation of adolescent drug usage. In the first survey, they selected four dependent variables (beer and wine, liquor, marijuana, and pills such as tranquilizer and hallucinogens) and the consumption frequency of each substance used was recorded. Individual responses were then coded into a five point scale (1 = never tried, 2 = only once, 3 = a few times, 4 = many times, 5 = regularly). Each participant also completed a questionnaire about his or her interaction with parents and peers. Three themes emerged after analyzing the data collected. Because adolescents tend

to rationalize their drug behavior by claiming friends and adults also use drugs to release stress, their perception in the number of peer and adult models of drug use have increased. To support their assumption, the result showed that there is a linear increase in the number of drug users between adolescents’ self-perceptive figure and actual statistical figure at different age level (Huba & Bentler, 1980). The second proposition of their research stated that the correlation between the variety of drug use and age group are positive. For instance, drugs such as tranquilizers are more difficult to acquire for young adolescents, their use may be initiated at later age. Hence, the drug use diversity percentage is lower in early adolescent, rather than in the middle and late

adolescent. The third theme that came about in their research is the correlation between self-use and peer use of drugs, are higher than self-use and adult use of drugs. As these groups develop both mentally and physically, they weight their relationship with peers more heavily than with adults. This conclusion results in an easier adaptation of peer behavior than of adult, such as parent behavior. From their research, Huba et al. (1980) concluded that both peer and adult models exert strong influences on the initiation of adolescent drug usage. Similar to Huba and Bentler, Kovach and Glickman (1986) performed a more in depth interview with high school students in Philadelphia to evaluate the relationship between psychosocial factors and adolescent drug use. They interviewed 480

students from two high schools, where the population diversity and economic status were in contrast with each other. Students were classified as either a drug user (who consume illicit drugs in the past year) or a non-user (who did not consume drug or alcohol in the past year). Questions such as race, religion, medical/legal history, and parental martial status were the topics of the interview. Students also completed a questionnaire which consisted of seven standard psychological scales including “Reason for Using Drug and Alcohol Checklist” (kirk, 1979), and the “Brief Symptom Inventory” (DeRogatis, 1977). After these surveys have been completed, the scores were then converted into a scale called “The Drug Severity Index”, which measure the severity of drug abuse by