Developmental Aspects of Delinquency and Internalizing Problems and Their Association with Persistent Juvenile Substance Use between Ages 7 and 18

Rolf Loeber, Magda Stouthamer-Loeber, Helene Raskin White

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173 Scopus citations

Abstract

Analyzed longitudinal data from 3 samples of the Pittsburgh Youth Study on boys ages 7 to 18 to examine the co-occurrence of persistent substance use with other problem behaviors, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), persistent delinquency, and persistent internalizing problems (i.e., depressed mood, anxiety, shy or withdrawn behavior). In preadolescence, persistent substance users also tended to be persistent delinquents, and half of this group displayed persistent internalizing problems as well. In adolescence, a third of the persistent substance users did not manifest other persistent problems. Across the samples, the least common substance users were those who manifested persistent internalizing problems only. Logistic regression analyses showed that persistent substance use in preadolescence was predicted by persistent delinquency and internalizing problems and in adolescence by persistent delinquency only. The combination of persistent substance use and delinquency was predicted by oppositional defiant disorder in middle childhood and by persistent internalizing problems in middle to late childhood. ADHD was not a predictor of persistent substance use (and delinquency) in any of the analyses. Results are discussed in terms of developmental models of multiproblem youth with an eye on improving early interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-332
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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