The Epidemiology and Etiology of Adolescent Substance Use in Developmental Perspective

  • John SchulenbergEmail author
  • Megan E. Patrick
  • Julie Maslowsky
  • Jennifer L. Maggs


If there were a time in life that was “built” for substance use onset and escalation, it would certainly be adolescence. Individual and social context changes are more pervasive and rapid during adolescence than during any other time of life. Amidst these ubiquitous developmental changes, it is no coincidence that interest in and opportunity for alcohol and other drug use begins for most young people. There are clear and numerous risks associated with alcohol and other drug use during adolescence; however, from the young person’s perspective, substance use experimentation can also serve positive social and identity functions. Our purpose in this chapter is to provide a selective summary and integration of the literature on the epidemiology and etiology of substance use during adolescence from a developmental perspective.


Illicit Drug 12th Grade Risky Behavior Binge Drinking Parental Monitoring 
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.



Work on this chapter was supported in part by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant (R01 DA001411, R01 DA016575, F31 DA029335) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R01 AA019606, R21 AA020045). The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the NIH. We wish to thank Carola Carlier for the editorial assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Schulenberg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Megan E. Patrick
    • 1
  • Julie Maslowsky
    • 2
  • Jennifer L. Maggs
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Health Behavior and Health Education, Department of Kinesiology and Health EducationThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  3. 3.Human Development and Family StudiesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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