Examining Anger as a Predictor of Drug Use Among Multiethnic Middle School Students

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tracy R. Nichols, Associate Professor and Doctoral Program Coordinator (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Background: Anger, a component of negative affect, has previously been associated with increased drug use primarily among white high school–aged students. However, few studies have examined these associations over time, and fewer have examined them among younger adolescents and students of color. Affective factors may play a greater role in drug use for girls relative to boys; yet, little is known regarding differences in associations between affect and drug use by gender.Methods: The current study used data from the control condition (N = 2025) of a drug and violence preventive intervention trial to examine the association between self-reported anger levels among multiethnic urban adolescents in the sixth grade and their use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana use 1 year later. Potential gender differences were examined as well.Results: Multivariate generalized estimating equations models found anger to be significantly associated with increases in smoking, drinking, and marijuana use. There were no significant gender differences found for any of the drug use outcomes.Conclusions: Results are consistent with studies conducted on primarily white high school youth, where anger had a small but significant effect on drug use over time. The findings also suggest that drug prevention programs should include emotion regulation skills, such as anger management, in addition to drug resistance skills.

Additional Information

Journal of School Health, 78(9), 480-486
Language: English
Date: 2008
emotional health, alcohol, drugs, smoking and tobacco

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