Using an ecological model we explored factors that contributed to the amount of time adolescents spent partying and consequent substance use. This study derived from secondary data analysis on self-report data collected on a sample of students from nine high schools. Of the approximately 9,000 students present during questionnaire administration, about 8,000 provided usable data for this study. Multiple regression analyses suggested that if adolescents perceived low levels of parental monitoring and associated with peers who used substances, they were more likely to use substances themselves. The results also suggested that spending time in unstructured social settings predicted substance use, but this process was mediated by partying. Furthermore, adolescents who spent time in unstructured social settings spent more time partying, but only if their friends were perceived to value partying and were substance users. Similarly, adolescents who spent time partying were at heightened risk for substance use, but only if they reported themselves to be open to peer influence. Thus, hanging out, a common social leisure context, does not necessarily lead to partying, and parties do not automatically lead to alcohol or drug use. In various ways, peers and resistance to peer pressure moderate these effects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management