Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 399–413 | Cite as

Substance use and its relationship to conduct problems and delinquency in young boys

  • Welmoet B. Van Kammen
  • Rolf Loeber
  • Magda Stouthamer-Loeber


The paper presents lifetime and six-month prevalence of substance use by 1st, 4th, and 7th graders (N=2573). Smoking and alcohol consumption was surprisingly high even for 1st graders. The use of developmentally more advanced substances, such as marijuana, was associated with the use of substances that typically emerge earlier, such as beer. Significantly more of the multiple substance users in the 1st and 4th grade were already engaged in a variety of conduct problems and delinquent acts than were either single users or nonusers. The findings show that substance use, even at Grades 1 and 4, is an indicator of boys who commit a wide variety of problem behaviors. For the 7th graders, the use of marijuana was especially associated with the commission of more serious delinquent acts. Multiple substance use reported by the 7th graders also signified a higher frequency and volume of use. The results of the study are related to a developmental conceptualization of conduct problems, delinquency and substance use.


Alcohol Alcohol Consumption Conduct Problem Health Psychology Single User 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Welmoet B. Van Kammen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rolf Loeber
    • 3
    • 4
  • Magda Stouthamer-Loeber
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Pittsburgh Youth Study, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, School of MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh
  2. 2.Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore
  3. 3.Queen's UniversityKingstonCanada
  4. 4.Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, School of MedicineUniversity of PittsburghPittsburgh

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