Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence

Journal of Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
Open Access

ISSN: 2329-6488



Comparing Substance Use And Violence Among Adolescents Recruited From an Urban Emergency Department: Does Parenting Status Matter?

Patton R, Cunningham RM, Carter PM and Walton AM

Background: The current study examined the prevalence rates of adolescent parents and the association between parenting status (parents, non-parents who are sexually active and non-parents who are not sexually active), substance use and violence among adolescents recruited from an urban emergency department (ED). Objectives: Understanding the association between adolescent parenting status, substance use, and violence may help inform prevention and intervention strategies for working with parenting and non-parenting adolescents. Methods: Youth ages 14-18 years (n=2,289) presenting for care to an urban ED completed a brief computerized, self-administered survey that assessed parenting status and other demographic information, substance use, violence, and sexual risk behaviors. Results: Among participants, 8.4% reporting being parents. Over 1/3 of adolescent parents reported tobacco, alcohol and/or marijuana use and carrying a weapon and over half reported peer violence. Regression analysis suggested that both adolescent parents and sexually active youth reported increased marijuana use and weapon carriage as compared to non-sexually active youth. Conclusions: Future prevention and intervention protocols should consider the parenting status of youth, and the potential impact that their substance use behaviors and weapon carriage could have on their children.