Brief Intervention for Truant Youth Sexual Risk Behavior and Marijuana Use

Richard Dembo, Rhissa Briones-Robinson, Kimberly Barrett, Rocio Ungaro, Ken C Winters, Steven Belenko, Lora M. Karas, Laura Gulledge, Jennifer Wareham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Substance use and sexual risk behaviors are common among adolescents, but research has focused attention on alcohol use. Much less is known about the relationship of marijuana use and sexual risk behavior among high-risk, especially truant, youths. We report interim findings from a NIDA-funded experimental, brief intervention (BI) study involving truant youths and their parents/guardians. Longitudinal data were analyzed to study (1) the relationships between the youths' marijuana use and sexual risk behavior and (2) the effects of a substance use BI on their marijuana use and sexual risk behavior. A growth model analysis for parallel processes was conducted to study relationships between marijuana use and sexual risk behavior, and to assess the overall BI effect on linear and quadratic trends in subgroups of youth differing in their sexual risk behavior and marijuana use. Implications of the results for future research and service delivery are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-333
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful for the collaboration and support of our work by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); the Tampa Police Department; the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office; the Hillsborough County Public Schools; the Agency for Community Treatment Services, Inc.; and 13th Judicial Circuit, Juvenile Diversion Program. The research reported in this article was funded by NIDA grant #DA021561.


  • growth model
  • intervention
  • sexual risk behaviors
  • substance use
  • truant youths

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