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Behavioral Intention as an Indicator of Drug and Alcohol Use (From Focus on Alcohol, P 3-24, 1991, Seymour Eiseman, ed.)

NCJ Number
C Wolford; J D Swisher
Date Published
22 pages
Data from 9,403 male and female students ages 12-19 in 5 public and private school systems in Pennsylvania were used to study the relationships among attitudinal, demographic, and behavioral variables and self-reported drug use.
The participants attended rural, small town, suburban, urban, and Catholic schools. The data were collected during the 1981-82 and 1982-83 school years. The questionnaire contained 71 questions within 7 subscales, plus 6 items on demographics. Results revealed that behavioral intention was the only independent variable that was consistently and significantly related to the self-reported use of all drugs considered, including cigarettes, beer, wine, liquor, marijuana, inhalants, PCP, depressants, hallucinogens, and stimulants. In addition, reported drug use increased as grade level increased. Moreover, reported drug use decreased as the student's time spent on academics and the reported grade point average increased. Finally, across all schools, students who reported more favorable attitudes toward their teachers reported less use of cigarettes and alcohol, but this relationship tended not to occur across other drug categories. Findings indicated that educators and program planners should focus on the main determinants of behavior and should initiate special programs for students with specific needs. Tables and 19 references


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