A79.  Rice, R.E., Donohew, L., & Clayton, R. (2003).   Peer network, sensation seeking, and drug use among junior and senior high school students. Connections, 25(2), 5-19.

This study argues that both biological and social factors are strong influences on use of drugs by adolescents and teenagers, and, further, that these factors may interact.  Thus, both biological and social factors offer avenues for targeting prime at-risk groups and designing messages and programs to reach them.  The biological factor explored here is sensation-seeking, and the social factor explored is the attitudes, behaviors, and sensation-seeking of respondents’ named peers.  These factors are included in a longitudinal structural model that is tested over three cohorts of an average of 1900 junior- and high-school students, each measured at three successive grades.  Both one’s own sensation-seeking, and peer influence (drug use, sensation-seeking), along with prior drug use, are the main predictors of specific drug use at the end of the periods.

Click here for PDF copy of publication