Developmental pathways linking externalizing symptoms, internalizing symptoms, and academic competence to adolescent substance use

Michelle M. Englund, Jessica Siebenbruner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study extends previous research investigating the developmental pathways predicting adolescent alcohol and marijuana use by examining the cascading effects of externalizing and internalizing symptoms and academic competence in the prediction of use and level of use of these substances in adolescence. Participants (N= 191) were drawn from a longitudinal study of first-born children of low-income mothers. Using data from ages 7, 9, 12, and 16 years, a series of nested two-part (semi-continuous) path models from a developmental cascade modeling framework were compared. Controlling for gender, SES, mother's age at child's birth, and minority status, we found (a) within-domain rank-order stability across time, (b) significant cross-domain effects over time, (c) higher externalizing symptoms significantly predicted use of alcohol and marijuana as well as higher levels of use in adolescence, and (d) higher levels of academic competence significantly added to the prediction of use of alcohol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1140
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Volume35
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by grants from the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development ( HD054850 ) and the National Institute of Mental Health ( MH40864 ).

Keywords

  • Academic achievement
  • Adolescent substance use
  • Alcohol use
  • Externalizing symptoms
  • Internalizing symptoms
  • Marijuana use

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