Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 199–216 | Cite as

Child, Parent, and Peer Predictors of Early-Onset Substance Use: A Multisite Longitudinal Study

  • Julie B. Kaplow
  • Patrick J. Curran
  • Kenneth A. Dodge


The purpose of this study was to identify kindergarten-age predictors of early-onset substance use from demographic, environmental, parenting, child psychological, behavioral, and social functioning domains. Data from a longitudinal study of 295 children were gathered using multiple-assessment methods and multiple informants in kindergarten and 1st grade. Annual assessments at ages 10, 11, and 12 reflected that 21% of children reported having initiated substance use by age 12. Results from longitudinal logistic regression models indicated that risk factors at kindergarten include being male, having a parent who abused substances, lower levels of parental verbal reasoning, higher levels of overactivity, more thought problems, and more social problem solving skills deficits. Children with no risk factors had less than a 10% chance of initiating substance use by age 12, whereas children with 2 or more risk factors had greater than a 50% chance of initiating substance use. Implications for typology, etiology, and prevention are discussed.

early-onset substance use children development etiology 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Manual for the Child Behavior Checklist and 1991 Profile. Burlington: University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry.Google Scholar
  2. Andrews, J. A., Hops, H., Ary, D. V., Tildesley, E., & Harris, J. (1993). Parental influence on early adolescent substance use: Specific and nonspecific effects. Journal of Early Adolescence, 13, 285–310.Google Scholar
  3. Bachman, J. G., Wallace, J. M., Jr., O'Malley, P. M., Johnston, L. D., Kurth, C. L., & Neighbors, H. W. (1991). Racial/ethnic differences in smoking, drinking, and illicit drug use among American high school seniors, 1976–1989. American Journal of Public Health, 81, 372–377.Google Scholar
  4. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  5. Barkley, R. A. (1988). Attention. In M. Tramontana & S. Hooper (Eds.), Assessment issues in child clinical neuropsychology (pp. 145–176). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  6. Barkley, R. A., McMurray, M. B., Edelbrock, C. S., & Robbins, K. (1989). The response of aggressive and nonaggressive ADHD children to two doses of methylphenidate. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 28, 873–881.Google Scholar
  7. Barnes, G. M., & Windle, M. (1987). Family factors in adolescent alcohol and drug abuse. Pediatrician, 14, 13–18.Google Scholar
  8. Baumrind, D. (1985). Familial antecedents of adolescent drug use: A developmental perspective. In C. L. Jones & R. J. Battjes (Eds.), Etiology of drug abuse: Implications for prevention. Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse.Google Scholar
  9. Beman, D. S. (1995). Risk factors leading to adolescent substance abuse. Adolescence, 30, 201–208.Google Scholar
  10. Brook, J. S., Brook, D. W., Gordon, A. S., Whiteman, M., & Cohen, P. (1990). The psychosocial etiology of adolescent drug use: A family interactional approach. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 116, 111–267.Google Scholar
  11. Brook, J. S., Whiteman, M., & Finch, S. (1992). Childhood aggression, adolescent delinquency, and drug use: A longitudinal study. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 153, 369–383.Google Scholar
  12. Chamberlain, P., & Reid, J. B. (1987). Parent observation and report of child symptoms. Behavioral Assessment, 9, 97–109.Google Scholar
  13. Chassin, L., Curran, P. J., Hussong, A. M., & Colder, C. R. (1996). The relation of parent alcoholism to adolescent substance use: A longitudinal follow-up study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 105, 70–80.Google Scholar
  14. Cicchetti, D., & Rogosch, F. A. (1999). Psychopathology as a risk for adolescent substance use disorders: A developmental psychopathology prespective. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 28(3), 355–365.Google Scholar
  15. Clark, D. B., Parker, A. M., & Lynch, K. G. (1999). Psychopathology and substance-related problems during early adolescence: A survival analysis. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 28, 333–341.Google Scholar
  16. Coie, J. D., Dodge, K. A., & Coppotelli, H. (1982). Dimensions and types of social status: A cross-age perspective. Developmental Psychology, 18, 557–570.Google Scholar
  17. Coie, J. D., Watt, N. F., West, S. G., Hawkins, J. D., Asarnow, J. R., Markman, H. J., et al. (1993). The science of prevention: A conceptual framework and some directions for a national research program. American Psychologist, 48, 1013–1022.Google Scholar
  18. Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (1992). A developmental and clinical model for the prevention of conduct disorder: The Fast Track Program. Development and Psychopathology, 4, 509–527.Google Scholar
  19. Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group. (1999). Technical reports for the Fast Track assessment battery. Unpublished technical reports.Google Scholar
  20. Conger, R. D. (1976). Social control and social learning models of delinquent behavior. Criminology, 14, 17–40.Google Scholar
  21. Costello, E. J., Edelbrock, C. S., & Costello, A. J. (1985). Validity of the NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children: A comparison between psychiatric and pediatric referrals. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 13, 579–595.Google Scholar
  22. Costello, E. J., Erkanli, A., Federman, E., & Angold, A. (1999). Development of psychiatric comorbidity with substance abuse in adolescents: Effects of timing and sex. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 28, 298–311.Google Scholar
  23. Crnic, K. A., & Greenberg, M. T. (1990). Minor parenting stresses with young children. Child Development, 61, 1628–1637.Google Scholar
  24. Dishion, T. J., Patterson, G. R., Stoolmiller, M., & Skinner, M. L. (1991). Family, school, and behavioral antecedents to early adolescent involvement with antisocial peers. Developmental Psychology, 27, 172–180.Google Scholar
  25. Dobkin, P. L., Tremblay, R. E., & Sacchitelle, C. (1997). Predicting boys' early-onset substance abuse from father's alcoholism, son's disruptiveness, and mother's parenting behavior. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 86–92.Google Scholar
  26. Dodge, K. A. (1983). Behavioral antecedents of peer social status. Child Development, 54, 1386–1399.Google Scholar
  27. Dodge, K. A., Bates, J. E., & Pettit, G. S. (1990). Mechanisms in the cycle of violence. Science, 250, 1678–1683.Google Scholar
  28. Elliot, D. S., Ageton, S. S., & Huizinga, D. (1985). Explaining delinquency and drug use. Beverly Hills, CA: Siegel.Google Scholar
  29. Greene, R. W., Biederman, J., Faraone, S. V., Wilens, T. E., Mick, E., & Blier, H. K. (1999). Further validation of social impairment as a predictor of substance use disorders: Findings from a sample of siblings of boys with and without ADHD. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 28, 349–354.Google Scholar
  30. Hart, E. L., Lahey, B. B., Loeber, R., & Hanson, K. S. (1994). Criterion validity of informants in the diagnosis of disruptive behavior disorders in children: A preliminary study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 410–414.Google Scholar
  31. Hawkins, J. D., & Weis, J. G. (1985). The social development model: An integrated approach to delinquency prevention. Journal of Primary Prevention, 6, 73–97.Google Scholar
  32. Hussong, A. M., & Chassin, L. (1994). The stress-negative affect model of adolescent alcohol use: Disaggregating negative affect. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 55, 707–718.Google Scholar
  33. Hussong, A. M., Curran, P. J., & Chassin, L. (1998). Pathways of risk for children of alcoholics' accelerated heavy alcohol use. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 26, 453–466.Google Scholar
  34. Jackson, C., Henriksen, L., Dickinson, D., & Levine, D. W. (1997). The early use of alcohol and tobacco: Its relation to children's competence and parents' behavior. American Journal of Public Health, 87, 359–364.Google Scholar
  35. Jessor, R., Chase, J. A., & Donovan, J. E. (1980). Psychosocial correlates of marijuana use and problem drinking in a national sample of adolescents. American Journal of Public Health, 70, 604–613.Google Scholar
  36. Jessor, R., & Jessor, S. L. (1977). Problem behavior and psychosocial development. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  37. Kandel, D. B. (1978). Homophily, selection, and socialization in adolescent friendships. American Journal of Sociology, 84, 427–436.Google Scholar
  38. Kandel, D. B. (1982). Epidemiological and psychosocial perspectives on adolescent drug use. Journal of the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatry, 21, 328–347.Google Scholar
  39. Kaplan, H. B., Johnson, R. J., & Bailey, C. A. (1986). Self-rejection and the explanation of deviance: Specification of the structure among latent constructs. American Journal of Sociology, 92, 384–411.Google Scholar
  40. Kaplan, H. B., Martin, S. S., & Robbins, C. (1984). Pathways to adolescent drug use: Self-derogation, peer influence, weakening of social controls, and early substance use. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 25, 270–288.Google Scholar
  41. Kaplow, J. B., Curran, P. J., Angold, & Costello, E. J. (2001). The prospective relation between dimensions of anxiety and the initiation of adolescent alcohol use. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 30, 316–326.Google Scholar
  42. Keenan, K., Loeber, R., Zhang, Q., Stouthamer-Loeber, M., & Van Kammen, W. B. (1995). The influence of deviant peers on the development of boys' disruptive and delinquent behavior: A temporal analysis. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 715–726.Google Scholar
  43. Kilpatrick, D. G., Acierno, R., Saunders, B., Resnick, H. S., Best, C. L., & Schnurr, P. P. (2000). Risk factors for adolescent substance abuse and dependence: Data from a national sample. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 68, 19–30.Google Scholar
  44. Lerner, R. M. (1984). On the nature of human plasticity. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  45. Loeber, R., Green, S. M., Lahey, B. B., & Stouthamer-Loeber, M. (1989). Optimal informants on childhood disruptive behaviors. Development and Psychopathology, 1, 317–337.Google Scholar
  46. Loeber, R., Stouthamer-Loeber, M., & White, H. R. (1999). Developmental aspects of delinquency and internalizing problems and their association with persistent juvenile substance use between ages 7 and 18. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 28(3), 322–332.Google Scholar
  47. Masse, L. C., & Tremblay, R. E. (1997). Behavior of boys in kindergarten and the onset of substance use during adolescence. Archives of General Psychiatry, 54, 62–68.Google Scholar
  48. Moffitt, T. E. (1993). Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behavior: A developmental taxonomy. Psychological Review, 100, 674–701.Google Scholar
  49. Molina, B. S. G., Smith, B. H., & Pelham, W. E. (1999). Interactive effects of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder on early adolescent substance use. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 13(4), 348–358.Google Scholar
  50. Newcomb, A., & Earlywine, M. (1996). Intrapersonal contributors to drug use. American Behavioral Scientist, 39, 823–837.Google Scholar
  51. Oetting, E. R., & Beauvais, F. (1987). Common elements in youth drug abuse: Peer clusters and other psychosocial factors. Journal of Drug Issues, 2, 133–151.Google Scholar
  52. O'Malley, P. M., Johnston, L. D., & Bachman, J. G. (1998). Alcohol use among adolescents. Alcohol Health and Research World, 22, 85–93.Google Scholar
  53. Patterson, G. R. (1982). Coercive family process. Eugene, OR: Castalia.Google Scholar
  54. Patterson, G. R., & Bank, C. L. (1989). Some amplifying mechanisms for pathologic processes in families. In M. Gunnar & E. Thelen (Eds.), Systems and development: Symposia on child psychology (pp. 167–210). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  55. Pentz, M. A. (1985). Social competence and self-efficacy as determinants of substance use in adolescence. In S. Siffman & T. A. Wills (Eds.), Coping and substance use. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  56. Petraitis, J., Flay, B. R., & Miller, T. Q. (1995). Reviewing theories of adolescent substance use: Organizing pieces in the puzzle. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 67–86.Google Scholar
  57. Radloff, L. S. (1977). The CES-D Scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1, 385–401.Google Scholar
  58. Ribordy, S. C., Camras, L. A., Stefani, R., & Spaccarelli, S. (1988). Vignettes for emotion recognition and affective therapy with children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 17, 322–325.Google Scholar
  59. Robins, L. N., & Przybeck, T. R. (1985). Age of onset of drug use as a factor in drug and other disorders. In C. L. Jones & R. J. Battjes (Eds.), Etiology of drug abuse: Implications for prevention (pp. 178–192). Washington, DC: National Institute on Drug Abuse.Google Scholar
  60. Sampson, R. J. (1997). Collective regulation of adolescent misbehavior: Validation results from eighty Chicago neighborhoods. Journal of Adolescent Research, 12, 227–244.Google Scholar
  61. Sher, K. (1991). Children of alcoholics: A critical appraisal of theory and research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  62. Shrout, P. E., & Fleiss, J. L. (1979). Intraclass correlations: Uses in assessing rater reliability. Psychological Bulletin, 86(2), 420–428.Google Scholar
  63. Simons, R. L., Conger, R. D., & Whitbeck, L. B. (1988). A multistage social learning model of the influences of family and peers upon adolescent substance abuse. Journal of Drug Issues, 18(3), 293–315.Google Scholar
  64. Strayhorn, J. M., & Weidman, C. S. (1988). A parent practices scale and its relation to parent and child mental health. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 27, 613–618.Google Scholar
  65. University of Michigan. (1998). Drug use by American young people begins to turn downward. Press release.Google Scholar
  66. Wechsler, D. (1974). Manual of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for children—revised. New York: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  67. Werthamer-Larsson, L., & Kellam, S. G. (1989). Teacher Observation of Classroom Adaptation—Revised (TOCA-R), Prevention center training manual. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University.Google Scholar
  68. White, H. R., Brick, J., & Hansell, S. (1993). A longitudinal investigation of alcohol use and aggression in adolescence. Journal of Studies of Alcoholism, 11, 62–77.Google Scholar
  69. Williams, C. L., Perry, C. L., Farbakhsh, K., & Veblen-Mortenson, S. (1999). Project Northland: Comprehensive alcohol use prevention for young adolescents, their parents, schools, peers, and communities. Journal of Studies on Alcohol (Suppl. 13), 112–124.Google Scholar
  70. Wills, T. A., & Filer, M. (1996). Stress-coping model of adolescent substance use. In T. H. Ollendick & R. J. Prinz (Eds.), Advances in clinical child psychology (Vol. 18, pp. 91–132). New York: Plenum.Google Scholar
  71. Wills, T. A., Vaccaro, D., & McNamara, G. (1994). Novelty seeking, risk taking, and related constructs as predictors of adolescent substance use: An application of Cloninger's theory. Journal of Substance Abuse, 6, 1–20.Google Scholar
  72. Windle, M., & Windle, R. C. (1993). The continuity of behavioral expression among disinhibited and inhibited childhood subtypes. Clinical Psychology Review, 13, 741–761.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie B. Kaplow
    • 1
  • Patrick J. Curran
    • 2
  • Kenneth A. Dodge
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyDuke UniversityDurham
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel Hill
  3. 3.Center for Child and Family PolicyDuke UniversityDurham

Personalised recommendations