Risk and protective factors of drug abuse among adolescents: a systematic review Full Text

According to these studies, criminal areas consist of neighborhoods with a high need for economic assistance, unemployment, and general discomfort. Mostly, families decide to live in such conditions because they have no choice (Leventhal and Brooks-Gunn, 2000). These areas, therefore, become an attractive center for those who are looking for a permissive and an adequate environment for delinquent status (Krohn et al., 2009). The social and economic costs related to youth substance abuse are high. Gottfredson and Hirschi contend that a good parenting practices (e.g. monitoring, discipline and warmth) results in good self-control in children. Indeed, children who develop a good self-control are more likely to implement prosocial behaviors in adolescence and adulthood, avoiding criminal conduct.

increased risk

Many prevention curricula targeted for the preschool population have limited random-design prospective research to document the programs’ efficacy. Similarly, Reimuller et al. found that alcohol-specific communication characterized by permissive messages leads adolescents to a higher risk of alcohol abuse than alcohol-negative messages. Communication, in general, and parent drug-talk influence the personal perception of adolescents and their future choices in adulthood as well. Another theory explaining delinquency through the multifactorial interaction of factors is Wikstrom’ situational action theory .

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The National Institutes of Health define bullying as a series of interactions whereby a group or individual verbally or physically assaults a victim who is perceived to be weaker . All adolescents who participate in bullying, whether they are the perpetrator, the victim, or a combination of both roles, have been shown to have increased risk of mental health disorders and psychosocial problems when compared with those who do not participate . Some research shows that females are more likely to be bullied via verbal attacks and gossip than males, who are usually physically bullied . Males also participate in all roles of bullying at a higher level than females .

  • If there is not a strong sense of ethnic identity present, a conflict between generations, which have different levels of intensity, put on their ethnicity, maybe lead second-generation adolescents to using drugs.
  • Children may be exposed to aggression or violent behavior due to a parent’s drinking.
  • Hoffman JP. Exploring the direct and indirect family effects on adolescent drug use.
  • Males are more likely to be physically abused, whereas females are generally more likely to be sexually abused .
  • Community interventions aim to promote social awareness through antidrug and anti-crime campaigns, especially on new drugs, drug selling websites on the dark web, legal consequences, and life in prisons.

This teen drug abuse aims to explore the interplay among the family system, substance abuse, and criminal behavior. An analysis of the main results of the 61 articles published between 2010 and 2020 shows that adolescents whose parents are justice-involved and often absent from home are more likely to perceive lower cohesion, support, and poor family communication. These factors can involve them in criminal acts and substance abuse. Moreover, these conducts are often linked to a form of uneasiness and a search of autonomy. Our findings also suggest that the most diffused drug-related crimes in adolescence are economic crimes, weapon carrying, robberies, dealing, and drug possession. Considering these results, future clinical implications might be based on multidimensional approaches, focusing more on the family context to promote interventions for at-risk adolescents.

DOMAIN: family factors

Research shows that the risk for substance abuse and other adverse behaviors increases as the number of risk factors increases, and that protective factors may reduce the risk of youth engaging in substance use that can lead to substance abuse. This interactive effect of risk and protective factors has substantial implications for the design and implementation of successful preventive interventions. The more a program reduces risk factors and increases protective factors, the more it is likely to succeed in preventing substance abuse among children and youth.1 Learn more about critical components and principles of effective adolescent substance abuse prevention programs.

binge drinking

Our review did not consider the influence of the culture in the main findings of research. Family relationships, the quality of communication, and support are also culturally determined. Drug abuse could influence criminal acts, including violent and non-violent offenses, such as threatening a person with a weapon, throwing objects, stealing money, physical aggression, sexual violence, and others . Karofi confirmed the association between drug abuse and a high crime rate. Indeed, drug abuse could make individuals, especially adolescents, to commit crimes for acquiring drugs. Green et al. highlighted the link between substance abuse and economic crimes, weapon carrying, robberies , illegal import, manufacturing, dealing, and drug possession.

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It would be simplistic, however, to continue considering the relationship between parent and adolescent as a one-way street. Based on the most recent researches, it would be closer to reality the description of this relationship as co-constructed by parents and adolescents, as a circular system. It will therefore be necessary for future studies to collect data that considers the interplay of parents and adolescents in order to gain a better understanding of the causes and motivations behind adolescents’ risky behavior. Drug-related substances in this context refer to narcotics, opioids, psychoactive substances, amphetamines, cannabis, ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens, depressants, and stimulants.

  • This inequality was reversed for inhalants, where the youngest group reported the greatest usage.
  • Substance abuse and dependence can lead to other forms of mental disorders, including mood, anxiety, and sleep disorders .
  • This aspect is important to evaluate adolescents’ risky trajectories, incorporating the developmental perspective.
  • William D. Crano, A.B., M.S., Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University.