A framework to examine gateway relations in drug use: An application of latent transition analysis

Mildred M. Maldonado-Molina, Stephanie T. Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

A progressive and hierarchical sequence of drug use suggests that a sequence of stages of drug use can describe the order by which adolescents try drugs. We propose an operational definition to test gateway relations by providing a framework with the aim of describing a set of conditions to guide the evaluation of whether a drug serves as a gateway for another drug. We used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to demonstrate how using latent transition analysis we can estimate the odds of using a drug at a later time conditional on having used a gateway drug at an earlier time. We provide three empirical demonstrations for testing the gateway relations using a national and longitudinal data of adolescents (e.g., gateway relation between cigarettes and marijuana, alcohol and marijuana, and alcohol and cigarettes).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)901-924
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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