Author(s): Bernburg JG, Thorlindsson T, Sigfusdottir ID
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Abstract In the current paper, we argue that the neighborhood-level of disrupted family processes (weak social ties to parents and coercive family interaction) should have a contextual effect on adolescent substance use (cigarette smoking, heavy drinking, and lifetime cannabis use), because adolescents living in neighborhoods in which disrupted family processes are prevalent should be more likely to associate with deviant (substance using) peers. We use nested data on 5491 Icelandic adolescents aged 15 and 16 years in 83 neighborhoods to examine the neighborhood-contextual effects of disrupted family processes on adolescent substance use (cigarette smoking, heavy drinking, and lifetime cannabis use), that is, whether neighborhoods in which disrupted family processes are common have more adolescent substance use, even after partialling out the individual-level effects of disrupted family processes on substance use. As predicted, we find that the neighborhood-levels of disrupted family processes have significant, contextual effects on all the indicators of substance use, and that association with substance using peers mediates a part of these contextual effects. The findings illustrate the limitation of an individual-level approach to adolescent substance use.
This article was published in Soc Sci Med
and referenced in Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education