Psychology Faculty Publications

Title

Modelling Opportunity: An Examination of Quadratic Effects of Adolescent Venezuelan Substance Use

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2018

Journal Title

Drug and Alcohol Review

Volume

37

First Page

865

Last Page

873

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1111/dar.12856

Abstract

Introduction and Aims

Numerous studies have found a linear relationship between an exposure opportunity and age of first drug use. This study further tests this relationship by exploring whether a quadratic exposure opportunity best fits the data on age of first use and whether gender moderates this relationship. That is, is there a peak age in which the transition to use occurs for male compared to female adolescents?

Design and Methods

A sample of 1716 adolescents from 14 public and private schools, representative of two school districts in Caracas, Venezuela, was examined using a zero‐inflated Poisson modelling approach to test for quadratic effects. A series of models were tested for each set of substances (alcohol, tobacco and other drugs) to assess whether a quadratic model has better predictive ability than linear models and to test whether gender moderates the quadratic relationship.

Results

After controlling for common covariates, the quadratic models for alcohol indicated the peak age of transition from an exposure opportunity to use was 10‐years of age in this Venezuelan sample. Gender did not moderate these models suggesting an important move toward gender equality in substance use.

Discussion and Conclusions

Focused efforts on preventing exposure to alcohol use during these windows of rapid transition is likely to have the greatest impact on delaying age of onset, which will reduce the overall prevalence of alcohol related problems among adolescents.

Keywords

Adolescent, alcohol consumption, smoking, illicit drugs, Venezuela

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Share

COinS