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Developmental antecedents of late adolescence substance use patterns


This longitudinal study examined antecedents of substance use behavior among 176 (53% male) adolescents. Adolescents were classified as (a) abstainers (n = 19), (b) experimenters (n = 65), (c) at-risk youth (n = 63), and (d) abusers (n = 29) based on their reported substance use behavior at age 17.5. Parental behavior, peer competence, and problem behavior, measured from early childhood through age 16, were examined as predictors of substance use patterns. Multinomial logistic regression models revealed that early maternal hostility, externalizing behavior problems in first grade and at age 16, internalizing behavior in first grade and at age 16, and parental monitoring at age 16 significantly differentiated substance use groups. The study provides evidence that experiences occurring early in development, in addition to those that occur later in development, can play a pivotal role in setting the stage for late adolescent substance use behavior.Preparation of this work and the research described herein were supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH40864-18). We acknowledge the participants and their families for their continued participation in this research. Special thanks to Judy Cook, W. Andrew Collins, and the numerous graduate and undergraduates who made this project possible.

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Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Michelle M. Englund, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, 51 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455; E-mail:
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