Peer Influences on Adolescent Alcohol and Other Drug Use Outcomes
Article first published online: 16 FEB 2012
© 2012 Sigma Theta Tau International
Journal of Nursing Scholarship
Volume 44, Issue 1, pages 36–44, March 2012
How to Cite
Ramirez, R., Hinman, A., Sterling, S., Weisner, C. and Campbell, C. (2012), Peer Influences on Adolescent Alcohol and Other Drug Use Outcomes. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 44: 36–44. doi: 10.1111/j.1547-5069.2011.01437.x
- Issue published online: 23 FEB 2012
- Article first published online: 16 FEB 2012
- Accepted December 31, 2011
- Adolescent substance use;
- treatment outcomes;
- peer networks;
- family environment
Purpose: To examine the role of family environment and peer networks in abstinence outcomes for adolescents 1 year after intake to alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment.
Design: Survey of 419 adolescents 13 to 18 years of age at consecutive intakes to AOD treatment programs at four sites of a large health system, with telephone follow-up survey 1 year after intake.
Methods: Examined association of 1-year abstinence with baseline characteristics. Using logistic regression, we examined characteristics predicting 1-year abstinence and predicting having fewer than four substance-using friends at 1 year.
Results: We found that family environment scores related to family conflict, limit setting, and positive family experiences, were not related to abstinence outcomes, but peer networks were related. Adolescents with fewer (less than four) AOD-using friends were more likely to be abstinent than those with four or more AOD-using friends (65% vs. 41%, p= .0002). Having fewer than four AOD-using friends at intake predicted abstinence at 1 year (odds ratio [OR]= 2.904, p= .0002) and also predicted having fewer than four AOD-using friends at 1 year (OR= 2.557, p= 0.0007).
Conclusions: Although family environment is an important factor in the development of AOD problems in adolescents, it did not play a significant role in treatment success. The quality of adolescent peer networks did independently predict positive outcomes.
Clinical Relevance: For physicians, advanced practice registered nurses, and other primary and behavioral care providers who screen and care for adolescents with AOD and other behavioral problems, our finding suggest the importance of focusing on improving the quality of their peer networks.
Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 2012; 44:1, XXX–XXX. ©2011 Sigma Theta Tau International.