Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 121–132

Psychiatric Disorders Associated with Substance Use Among Children and Adolescents: Findings from the Methods for the Epidemiology of Child and Adolescent Mental Disorders (MECA) Study


  • Denise B. Kandel
    • Department of Psychiatry and School of Public HealthColumbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons
    • Department of the Epidemiology of Substance AbuseNew York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Jeffrey G. Johnson
    • Biometrics ResearchNew York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Hector R. Bird
    • Department of Child PsychiatryColumbia University
  • Glorisa Canino
    • Behavioral Sciences InstituteUniversity of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus
  • Sherryl H. Goodman
    • Department of PsychologyEmory University
  • Benjamin B. Lahey
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Chicago
  • Darrel A. Regier
    • Division of Epidemiology and Services ResearchNational Institute on Mental Health
  • Mary Schwab-Stone
    • Yale Child Study CenterYale University School of Medicine

DOI: 10.1023/A:1025779412167

Cite this article as:
Kandel, D.B., Johnson, J.G., Bird, H.R. et al. J Abnorm Child Psychol (1997) 25: 121. doi:10.1023/A:1025779412167


The relationships between specific quantities and frequencies of alcohol, cigarette, and illicit substance use and substance use (SUD) and other psychiatric disorders were investigated among 1,285 randomly selected children and adolescents, aged 9 to 18, and their parents, from the Methods for the Epidemiology of Child and Adolescent Mental Disorders (MECA) Study. Logistic regressions indicated that daily cigarette smoking, weekly alcohol consumption, and any illicit substance use in the past year were each independently associated with an elevated likelihood of diagnosis with SUD and other psychiatric disorders (anxiety, mood, or disruptive behavior disorders), controlling for sociodemographic characteristics (age, gender, ethnicity, family income). The associations between the use of specific substances and specific psychiatric disorders varied as a function of gender.

Substance usepsychiatric disordersadolescents
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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997