An application of three deviance theories to adolescent substance use

Helene Raskin White, Valerie Johnson, Allan Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


This study tests the applicability of aspects of three theories of deviance - differential association, control, and strain - to the use of alcohol and drugs among a representative cross-section of 12-, 15-, and 18-year-olds. Regression analyses are conducted separately on each theory as well as on an overall model combining aspects of all three perspectives. Results show that differential association theory is a far more powerful predictor of adolescent alcohol and drug use than either the control or strain theories. The predictive power of the overall model is dependent upon the type of substance used as well as the age of the subject; however, the model is invariant between males and females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-366
Number of pages20
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1986

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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