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Potential Contributions of the Life Span Developmental Approach to the Study of Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Use - The Rutgers Health and Human Development Project, a Working Model

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Dated: (Spring 1984) Pages: 253-268
Date Published
16 pages
The Rutgers Health and Human Development Project is organized around a life span developmental perspective. This is oriented toward understanding the antecedents and variables relating to adolescent substance use and abuse. The project is interested in major developments of use patterns, particularly in regard to acquisition, early maintenance, and dependence (if it occurs). These patterns are best understood in a prospective-developmental model and not in a cross-sectional model. To do this the domain of the problem including the adolescent's family, must be studied. The design factors are critical in such a study if causal analyses are to be developed and must be done under naturalistic, real world conditions. The Rutgers study, therefore, assesses the emergence and unfolding of adolescent substance use behaviors in interaction with the individuals physical, psychological and social development during the transition from adolescence to early adulthood. The project assessed three different aged sample (12,15,18) prospectively, over a three year span. Problem areas in the methodology of prospective, longitudinal studies are discussed. (Author abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 1984