The impact of maltreatment on adolescent substance abuse Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/b5644v48w

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  • While the general link between adolescent maltreatment and adolescent substance abuse is well established, questions remain regarding factors that may explain variability in the strength of this link. This study examines whether the link between maltreatment and substance abuse varies across three categories of maltreatment: physical, sexual and emotional. It also examines gender differences and timing of abuse (past or current). This study also examines the level of parental monitoring and what effect parental monitoring has on maltreated adolescents and their use of substances. Survey data were collected from six public schools in a rural Southwestern Oregon County on experience of maltreatment (emotional, physical and sexual) and use of substances (tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs), gender differences and level of parental monitoring. Data were analyzed using t-tests and regression models. Results indicated that youth who currently experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse were significantly more likely to use tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs than were youth who had experienced abuse in the past. They also indicated a significant interaction between gender and physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse (past and present combined) in predicting illicit drug use with males using illicit drugs at a significantly higher rate than females. As predicted, a significant interaction was found between parental monitoring and maltreatment/no maltreatment in predicting drug use. Maltreated youth with low levels of parental monitoring were significantly more likely to have high levels of substance use than were maltreated youth with high levels of parental monitoring. These results give rise to the need for further research into this subject to aid counselors in helping youth, especially male youth, in substance abuse treatment. Results of this study suggest a need for substance abuse treatment counselors to educate the parents of the treatment clients to closely monitor their adolescent as a possible means of reducing substance abuse.
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