Interplay of psychosocial factors and the long-term course of adolescents with a substance use disorder

Ken C. Winters, Randy D. Stinchfield, Susanne Lee, William W. Latimer

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10 Scopus citations


This paper examines the association of psychosocial factors and long-term drug use behaviors (year-5.5) among adolescents with a substance dependence disorder. One group received treatment with a 12-Step approach (n = 159) and one group was on a waiting list (n = 62). Four psychosocial factors (deviant behavior, peer drug environment, psychological disturbance and family estrangement), as measured by a standardized self-report questionnaire, were examined as predictors across three time points (year-1, year-4 and year-5.5). Improved outcome across time was significantly associated with decreases in deviant behavior, peer drug environment and family estrangement. However, psychological disturbance was not associated with outcome. Also, we did not find an effect on outcome as a function of age, gender and race. Youth that received treatment, as opposed to the waiting list youth, generally revealed a more favorable outcome across time. Treatment implications of the study findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-119
Number of pages13
JournalSubstance Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ken C. Winters, Randy D. Stinchfield, and Susanne Lee are affiliated with the University of Minnesota. William W. Latimer is affiliated with Johns Hopkins University. Address correspondence to: Ken C. Winters, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, F282/2A West, 2450 Riverside Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55454 (E-mail: The authors wish to thank Tamara Fahnhorst and Andria Botzet for their assistance with this paper. This study was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse grants DA05104 and K02 DA15347.


  • Adolescents
  • Long-term follow-up
  • Substance use disorders
  • Treatment


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