The purpose of this study was to determine the degree to which the use of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana by young adolescents can be described using a common theoretical model. Structural models were created in which psychosocial variables hierarchically predicted the use of each substance. The fit of a model in which paths from predictor variables were constrained to be equal was not inferior in any meaningful way to that of a model in which all path coefficients were freely estimated, thus suggesting that use of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana by young adolescents may be considered to be a unitary phenomenon. A simplified model, in which these substances were combined into a single latent variable, showed a good fit. The results of these analyses suggest that it may be beneficial to consider adolescent substance use to be a unitary phenomenon.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Psychology
- General Psychology