Explaining adolescent drug use in adjacent generations: Testing the generality of theoretical explanations

Marvin D. Krohn, Thomas A. Loughran, Terence P. Thornberry, Daniel Wonho Jang, Adrienne Freeman-Gallant, Erin D. Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We tested the assumption that theories of drug use are able to account for behavior across varying contexts and populations by examining whether control, learning, and elaborated theories provide similar explanations for adolescent drug use in adjacent generations. We used data from the Rochester Youth Development Study and Rochester Intergenerational Study which followed a sample of adolescents starting at age 14 and their oldest biological child. Crossgenerational analysis between theoretical variables measured at age 14 and drug use measured at approximately ages 15 and 16 were used. Regression models testing for each theoretical framework found that in general, they appear to operate similarly in adjacent generations. We conducted 14 tests of equality for pairs of coefficients across the generations; no statistically significant differences were observed. Overall, these theories offer general explanations for adolescent drug use with respect to risk and protective factors for parents and their children. Theoretical and policy implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-395
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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