Drug and Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young Adults

Topics: Adolescence, Peer group, Drug addiction Pages: 7 (2969 words) Published: November 26, 2012

Regulation of Deviance:
Drug and Alcohol Use among Adolescents and Young Adults
Nikkee L Payne
University of Nebraska at Lincoln

This paper explores the overall affects that peers, family members, and religious affiliations have among adolescents and young adults when it comes to the use of deviant substances such as drugs and alcohol. Here we will examine the specific affects that peers tend to have on individual adolescents and how subgroups can influence the future of the individual. We will look at the errors in the limitations placed throughout the different studies done and speculate on what could have been done to better generalize the results. Drug and alcohol use among adolescents and young adults is common and tends to lead to later abuse of said substances. Here we will find better understanding of the overall outcomes of deviant adolescents and their choices that they make about drugs and alcohol in congruency to environmental factors. Regulation of Deviance: Drug and Alcohol Use among Adolescents and Young Adults

There have been numerous studies done on the use of drugs and alcohol within the different cultures and subcultures seen throughout society. Many of these studies tend to focus more so on the young adults and adolescents use of different substances more often than the use across all different age groups. There has been much speculation among many psychologists and sociologists around the different influences of these adolescents and young adults. Different studies have focused on the influences of peers and parents as well as religion on the use of drugs and alcohol. It is seen that peers tend to have a more direct influence on the use of different substances than that of parents. Research by Bahr, Hoffmann and Yang (2005) shows that the attitudes of the parents tend to affect the overall outcome of adolescent drug use. It is easy to see the correlation between drug use, deviance, and future accomplishments of the adolescents who choose to partake in these deviant acts. No matter what the choice of substance is there is a direct correlation between the use and committing different deviant acts. Literature Review

There are many studies that emphasize the direct connection between adolescent drug use and the influences that family members and peers have on this. According to Walden et al (2004) there is a clear correlation linking parents, peers and substance use among youth. This study attempts to look at the genetic influences versus the environmental influences in question of which is more significant to adolescent sway. In the study they attempt to illustrate two possible genetic influences that could possibly help explain the connection between peers, parents and what is seen as substance use phenotypes. “First, the associations could be the product of active genotype–environment correlations, wherein individuals gravitate to different environments (or perceive similar environments differently) on the basis of their unique, genetically influenced dispositions. To the extent that risk for early adolescent substance use is influenced by heritable factors (e.g., temperament), selection into deviant peer groups by adolescents with a propensity to use substances would represent an active genotype–environment correlation. Second, the associations could owe to evocative genotype–environment correlations, which occur when individuals elicit reactions from their environments on the basis of their own genetically influenced behavior. For example, an adolescent’s early use of substances (again, as influenced by heritable factors) could negatively impact the relationship between the adolescent and his or her parent(s) by resulting in increased parent–child conflict. Given the possibility that these putatively environmentally mediated associations could, in fact, result from genotype–environment correlational...
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