Willingness and appropriateness of peers participating in emerging adults' substance misuse treatment

Douglas C. Smith, Leah Cleeland, Ashley Middleton, Mark D. Godley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study investigates the feasibility of adapting empirically-supported family treatments for emerging adult peer dyads. Data were collected (n = 84) from emerging adults and their peers. Peers completed measures of substance use, willingness to participate in their friends' treatments, and an adapted version of the Significant Other Behavior Questionnaire (SBQ), which measures concerned significant others' (CSO) responses to another's use such a punishing, supporting, or withdrawing from the user. Peers were more likely to support sobriety or enable use, versus punishing use or withdrawing from their friends. Overall, peers were quite willing to assist in treatment, but heavily using peers were less enthusiastic. For some emerging adults, their current peers may represent untapped resources to integrate into treatment, and providing peer-enhanced treatments may expand the reach of services to non-treatment seeking populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-154
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The development of this article was supported by the University of Illinois' Campus Research Board and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism ( NIAAA # 1K23AA017702 - 01A2 , Smith). The opinions, however, are those of the authors and do not reflect official positions of the federal government. Earlier versions of this article were presented at the 2011 Annual Conference of the Research Society on Alcoholism.


  • Close friendships
  • Emerging adulthood
  • Peers
  • Psychotherapy
  • Substance abuse


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