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Substance use early initiation among violent and nonviolent antisocial adolescents
Addiction Research and Theory
The relationship between delinquency and substance use and abuse has been much studied. Investigating this relationship as a function to the type of adolescent delinquent behavior presented, whether antisocial or violent, might help explain this complex issue. To this end, 211 adolescents completed the Adolescent Drug Abuse Diagnosis (ADAD), a multidimensional evaluation instrument that provided information regarding their substance use and antisocial behavior. Subjects were separated into three groups (violent, antisocial, and control) as a function of their reported antisocial behavior. The three groups were compared on the lifetime use of tobacco, alcohol and cannabis, and any illicit substance. The ages of initiation for these substances were also examined. Results indicated a high percentage of lifetime and problem substance use among violent and antisocial adolescents. However, on the issue of substance use initiation age, the violent adolescents consistently began using substances significantly earlier than both control and antisocial adolescents.
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