The importance of conduct problems and depressive symptoms in predicting adolescent substance use
- Cite this article as:
- Henry, B., Feehan, M., McGee, R. et al. J Abnorm Child Psychol (1993) 21: 469. doi:10.1007/BF00916314
The current study assessed the relative importance of conduct problems and depressive symptoms, measured at two ages (11 and 15), for predicting substance use at age 15 in an unselected birth cohort of New Zealand adolescents. Among males, when the relative predictive utility of both conduct problems and depressive symptoms was assessed, only pre-adolescent depressive symptoms were found to predict multiple drug use 4 years later. No predictive relation was found between early symptomatology and later substance use among females. The strongest association between predictors and substance use emerged between age 15 multiple drug use and concurrent conduct problems for both males and females. Finally, both conduct problems and depressive symptoms at age 15 were also found to be associated with concurrent “self-medication” among females.