Longitudinal and cross-sectional relationships between alcohol use, psychological risk (as measured by four MMPI-A scales), and delinquent and violent behaviors were analyzed using self-reported data from eighth and ninth grade students from a rural and small town population. Alcohol use and acknowledgement of alcohol and drug-related problems were statistically associated with delinquent and violent behaviors, even after adjusting for personality and behavioral risk. These results suggest that alcohol use is an independent risk factor for delinquent and violent behaviors among young people. Violence prevention efforts among adolescents, therefore, should recognize and address alcohol use. Alcohol use prevention efforts among adolescents should evaluate the effects of reducing alcohol use on subsequent violent behaviors.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (R01-AA08596 and R01-AA10791).