This study aims to: (i) explore the relations between smoking initiation and different profiles of academic achievement trajectories in early to mid-adolescence; and (ii) to investigate whether background characteristics (gender, ethnicity, grade repetition, parental education) and proximal processes (parental practices, extra-curricular involvement) predicted class membership and smoking initiation.
Four-year longitudinal cohort study (7th-10th grade).
Adolescents completed the questionnaires during school hours.
At total of 741 adolescents with no history of smoking in grade 7 participating in the Montreal Adolescent Depression Development Project.
Self-report questionnaires were used to assess predictors and previous smoking in year 1, and smoking initiation by the end of the study. Grade point average (GPA) was obtained twice yearly from school records.
Three academic achievement trajectories were identified and found to differ significantly in rates of smoking initiation: persistently high achievers (7.1% smoking), average achievers (15.1% smokers) and unstable low achievers (49.1% smoking). Further, results showed that general parenting practices and parental education indirectly reduced the likelihood of smoking by reducing the risk of membership in classes with lower GPA.
Adolescents who do well in school are less likely to smoke and it may be cost-effective for smoking prevention to focus on the few (12%) easy to identify unstable low achievers who form 35% of smoking onsets. In addition, as parental support and democratic control reduced the likelihood of poor academic performance, promoting essential generic parenting skills from a young age may also prevent future onsets of smoking in adolescence.
"The combination of music and drugs proved to be potent, and scientific research has yet to explain it" (Levitin, 2008, p. 74; The World in Six Songs). This study examined if fantasizing while listening to music could represent a potential protective factor against adolescent substance use (cigarette, alcohol, and cannabis). The first hypothesis was that fantasizing while listening to music would moderate (buffer) the link between sensation-seeking and substance use. The second hypothesis was that fantasizing while listening to music would also moderate (buffer) the link between peer substance use and individual substance use. The sample comprised 429 adolescent boys and girls who answered a self-report questionnaire in 2003. They were regular students attending a public high school in Montreal, Canada. The results revealed that fantasizing while listening to music came short of buffering the link between sensation-seeking and substance use among highly musically involved adolescents. Still, fantasizing while listening to music significantly attenuated the relationship between peer substance use and individual substance use (thereby, showing a protective effect) among highly musically involved adolescents. Fantasizing while listening to music did not buffer the relation between either risk factor (sensation-seeking or peer substance use) and substance use among moderately musically involved adolescents.
To identify distal and proximal predictors of ecstasy use initiation during adolescence.
The sample included 2162 adolescents from Québec disadvantaged community high schools, with an annual follow-up for 5 years. Path analysis was used to predict ecstasy use initiation in secondary 5 (aged 16 to 17 years) from predictors in secondary 1 and 2 (aged 12 to 14 years) and in secondary 4 (aged 15 to 16 years).
Secondary 5 adolescents initiating ecstasy use showed a higher risk on multiple factors, compared with nonusers. Initiation was mainly predicted by proximal risk factors related to individual use as well as peer use and deviance. Nevertheless, many proximal factors developed consistently with their corresponding distal factor (indirect link). Marijuana use was the strongest predictor of ecstasy use initiation. All things being equal, relative risk was 2.04 times higher in adolescents having used marijuana in the past year (secondary 4).
Ecstasy use initiation in secondary 5 seems to be globally related to an externalized, rather than internalized, profile. This ecstasy use was strongly associated with other substance use and likely shares many risk factors with other substance use, specifically marijuana use.
Research has raised significant concern regarding the affective consequences of synthetic drug use. However, little evidence from well-controlled longitudinal studies exists on these consequences. The aim of this study was to determine whether use of meth/amphetamine (speed) and ±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) is independently predictive of subsequent depressive symptoms in adolescents.
A sample of 3880 adolescents from secondary schools in disadvantaged areas of Quebec, Canada, were followed over time (2003-2008). Logistic regression was used to test the association between meth/amphetamine and MDMA use in grade 10 (ages 15-16 years) and elevated depressive symptoms on an abridged Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale in grade 11, controlling for pre-existing individual and contextual characteristics.
After adjustment, both MDMA use (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.6) and meth/amphetamine use (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.3) in grade 10 significantly increased the odds of elevated depressive symptoms in grade 11. These relationships did not vary by gender or pre-existing depressive symptoms. Increased risk was particularly observed in concurrent usage (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2 to 2.9).
Adolescent use of meth/amphetamine and MDMA (particularly concurrent use) is independently associated with subsequent depressive symptoms. Further enquiry must determine whether these associations reflect drug-induced neurotoxicity and whether adolescence is a period of increased vulnerability to the hazards of synthetic drug exposure.
To test the hypotheses that average volume of alcohol consumption and patterns of drinking, each influence alcohol-related problems and that both act at individual and aggregate levels.
The 2003 cycle of the Ontario Student Drug Use Survey obtained self-administered questionnaires from a representative classroom-based survey of 2455 Ontario secondary school students (grades 9-12) from 74 schools, with a student completion rate of 72%. Average volume of alcohol consumption was assessed using a quantity-frequency measure. Heavy drinking occasions were operationalized by four dummy variables indicating less than monthly, monthly, weekly and daily consumption of five or more drinks per occasion, with never having a heavy drinking occasion serving as the reference group. Alcohol-related problems were measured by using seven items of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test.
As hypothesized, both the average volume of alcohol consumption and patterns of drinking influenced alcohol-related problems at the student level, independently of each other. At the school level, both determinants significantly influenced the problems, but not when simultaneously entered into the equation.
Future prevention of alcohol-related problems in adolescents should consider both the average volume and patterns of drinking. Both prevention and research should also try to include environmental determination of alcohol-related problems.
Although the concept of school engagement figures prominently in most school dropout theories, there has been little empirical research conducted on its nature and course and, more importantly, the association with dropout. Information on the natural development of school engagement would greatly benefit those interested in preventing student alienation during adolescence. Using a longitudinal sample of 11,827 French-Canadian high school students, we tested behavioral, affective, cognitive indices of engagement both separately and as a global construct. We then assessed their contribution as prospective predictors of school dropout using factor analysis and structural equation modeling. Global engagement reliably predicted school dropout. Among its three specific dimensions, only behavioral engagement made a significant contribution in the prediction equation. Our findings confirm the robustness of the overall multidimensional construct of school engagement, which reflects both cognitive and psychosocial characteristics, and underscore the importance attributed to basic participation and compliance issues in reliably estimating risk of not completing basic schooling during adolescence.
Cannabis is the most prevalently used illicit drug in Canada. Current policy consists primarily of universal use prohibition rather than interventions targeting specific risks and harms relevant for public health. This study aimed to identify distinct groups of cannabis users based on defined use characteristics in the Canadian population, and examine the emerging groups' associations with differential risk and harm outcomes. One thousand three hundred and three current (i.e. use in the past three months) cannabis users, based on data from the representative cross-sectional 2004 Canadian Addiction Survey (N = 13,909), were statistically assessed by a 'latent class analysis' (LCA). Emerging classes were examined for differential associations with socio-demographic, health and behavioral indicators on the basis of chi-square and analysis of variance techniques. Four distinct classes based on use patterns were identified. The class featuring earliest onset and highest frequency of use [22% of cannabis user sample or 2.2% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.8-2.7%) of the Canadian adult population] was disproportionately linked to key harms, including other illicit drug use, health problems, cannabis use and driving, and cannabis use problems. A public health framework for cannabis use is needed in Canada, meaningfully targeting effective interventions towards the minority of users experiencing elevated levels of risks and harms.
The objective of this paper is to empirically determine a categorization of illegal opioid users in Canada in order to describe and analyze drug use patterns within this population.
Drug use patterns of 679 eligible illegal opioid users outside treatment from the OPICAN study, a pan-Canadian cohort (recruited March to December, 2002) involving the cities of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Quebec City, were empirically examined using latent class analysis. These latent classes were then further analyzed for associations using chi-square and t-test statistics.
The opioid and other drug user sample surveyed were categorized into three latent classes. Class 1 (N=256) was characterized by the use of Tylenol 3 and benzodiazepines along with high levels of depression and self-reported pain. Class 2 (N=68) was described by the non-injection use of both heroin and crack while having a high level of homelessness. Class 3 (N=344) was shown to consist of injection drug users of heroin and cocaine exhibiting the highest levels of HIV and Hepatitis C infections amongst the classes.
Using latent class analysis we found distinct patterns of drug use amongst illegal opioid users differing in terms of type of drugs co-used, social context, and co-morbid pathologies. These data may be useful as the empirical basis for the planning of specific prevention and treatment interventions.