The social ecology of urban adolescent substance use: A case study utilizing geographic information systems

Michael J. Mason, Ivan Cheung, Leslie Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Adolescents drawn from an urban primary care setting were interviewed to understand the relationship between their social networks, their environment, and their health outcomes such as substance use, depression, and stress. A case study was constructed from this small convenience sample to illustrate the methodology of creating a 3-dimentional ecological profile that helps explain these relationships and provides preventive applications. The profiles consisted of personal risk (substance use, depression, stress) social risk (social network members drug use, pressure to use, negative activities) and environmental risk (number of crimes, poverty level, alcohol outlets, boys and girls clubs, libraries) levels. Geographic information system (GIS) was used to integrate teens' subjective interpretation of their environments with objective environmental information to form a 3-dimensional social ecological profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-282
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Primary Prevention
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2004


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this