What’s love got to do with it? Adolescent romantic networks and substance use Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • This study examined how romantic aspiration network characteristics at the individual level (in-degree and out-degree) are associated with substance use (i.e. smoking and drinking) among a cross-sectional sample of US adolescents (10th grade, n = 1523) from 4 high schools in Los Angeles. Findings highlighted that, with an increase in out-degree (romantic aspiration nominations made), adolescents in our sample were less likely (OR = .824, CI = .688-.986, p < .05) to report smoking in the past 30 days. Additionally, with an increase in in-degree (romantic aspiration nominations received), adolescents were more likely (OR = 1.186, CI = 1.04-1.36, p < .05) to report drinking in the past 30 days. We conclude that romantic aspirations/relations influence adolescents' substance use behaviour (i.e. smoking and drinking alcohol), particularly because of the intensity of such relationships and the desire to please or be acceptable to the other person. Moreover, understanding adolescents' aspirations/relations can be useful for the development of intervention/prevention programmes to target adolescents' substance use.

author list (cited authors)

  • Jacobs, W., Jeon, K. C., Goodson, P., & Valente, T. W.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015 11:11 AM