Juvenile substance use has been a major societal problem in the United States over the past 30 years. The research literature on substance use in juvenile populations has focused on identifying risk factors that are thought to increase the likelihood that youths will engage in using illicit substances, and identifying protective factors that may serve to decrease the likelihood that youths will initiate drug use or habitually use drugs. The overarching purpose of this research has been to utilize this information in the development of drug prevention/rehabilitation programs. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether theoretically and empirically established risk and protective factors associated with youth substance use significantly predicted, or were significantly associated with, the adjudication status of youths who had been arrested at least once for using or possessing illicit substances. Additionally, the study investigated if theoretically and empirically established risk and protective factors were significantly associated with the frequency of arrests of students in a large public school district. Finally, the study explored if risk and protective factors were significantly associated with youths' IDEA status, due to IDEA status being previously shown to be significantly correlated to other forms of juvenile offenses.
Data were analyzed from a cleansed database containing the educational and juvenile justice data of students attending a large public school district in Southern Arizona during the 2006-2007 academic year. The results showed that both grade point average and school attendance data significantly predicted (p < .05) the juveniles' adjudication status, but not standardized achievement scores. Further, IDEA status was found to be significantly associated (p < .05) with the youths' adjudication status. However, societal variables such as the crime and socioeconomic levels of youths' house zip codes were not found to be significantly associated with adjudication status, IDEA status, or the frequency of arrests for the 2006-2007 academic year. The implications of these findings are discussed, as well as the limitations of the study and future directions for research in this area.
|Advisor:||Morris, Richard J.|
|Commitee:||Aleamoni, Lawrence, Perfect, Michelle|
|School:||The University of Arizona|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/11, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational psychology, Criminology|
|Keywords:||Adjudicated, Protective factors, Risk factors, Substance use, Youths|
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