Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 13–40

Antecedents of adolescent initiation into stages of drug use: A developmental analysis

  • Denise B. Kandel
  • Ronald C. Kessler
  • Rebecca Z. Margulies

DOI: 10.1007/BF01538684

Cite this article as:
Kandel, D.B., Kessler, R.C. & Margulies, R.Z. J Youth Adolescence (1978) 7: 13. doi:10.1007/BF01538684


The social psychological antecedents of entry into three sequential stages of adolescent drug use, hard liquor, marihuana, and other illicit drugs, are examined in a cohort of high school students in which the population at risk for initiation into each stage could be clearly specified. The analyses are based on a two-wave panel sample of New York State public secondary students and subsamples of matched adolescent-parent and adolescent-best schoolfriend dyads. Each of four clusters of predictor variables, parental influences, peer influences, adolescent involvement in various behaviors, and adolescent beliefs and values, and single predictors within each cluster assume differential importance for each stage of drug behavior. Prior involvement in a variety of activities, such as minor delinquency and use of cigarettes, beer, and wine are most important for hard liquor use. Adolescents' beliefs and values favorable to the use of marihuana and association with marihuana-using peers are the strongest predictors of initiation into marihuana. Poor relations with parents, feelings of depression, and exposure to drug-using peers are most important for initiation into illicit drugs other than marihuana.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denise B. Kandel
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ronald C. Kessler
    • 4
  • Rebecca Z. Margulies
    • 2
  1. 1.New York State Psychiatric InstituteNew York City
  2. 2.School of Public Health and Department of PsychiatryColumbia UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Center for Socio-Cul-tural Research on Drug UseColumbia UniversityUSA
  4. 4.Center for Policy ResearchNew York City

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