Substance use and abuse among deviant and non-deviant adolescents in Israel.

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The study examined the hypothesis that the use of psychoactive substances is strongly associated with social deviance. Patterns of alcohol and drug use among two samples of deviant adolescents were investigated and compared to patterns of use among a sample of non-deviant youths. The participants were as follows: ninety-seven juvenile delinquents, inmates in institutions, aged twelve through eighteen; 184 detached youth, aged twelve through eighteen, who are in treatment programs of the Departments of Youth Advancement, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Welfare; and a nationwide representative sample of 8151 high school students, aged twelve through eighteen. Substance use was measured by three self-report indices: frequency of use during the last year, use during the last month, and use during the last week. The results clearly indicate that psychoactive substance use is concentrated among Israeli groups of deviant adolescents. These adolescents use all types of substances, licit as well as illicit, at rates considerably exceeding those found among high school students. However, a great similarity was found between the deviant groups of adolescents and the high school students in several personality correlates (sensation seeking, anxiety, depressive mood and learned resourcefulness) of substance use, and to a much lesser degree in its interpersonal correlates (perceived closeness to parents and to peers). The results' implications for prevention are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-236
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Drug Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993


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