A Longitudinal Grouping Analysis of Adolescent Substance Use Escalation and De-Escalation

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Abstract

Although studies have explored the predictors of changes in rank ordering of adolescent substance use over time, little research has specifically examined the predictors of substance use escalation and de-escalation. The present study tested whether social influences, individual differences, and symptomatology predicted substance use escalation and de-escalation over a 9-month period in a community sample of adolescents (N = 390). Peer substance use, negative affectivity, externalizing symptoms, and internalizing symptoms prospectively predicted substance use escalation. Only peer substance use and parental control predicted de-escalation. Results provide support for the assertion that social influences, individual differences, and symptomatology predict substance use escalation and de-escalation but suggest that the relations differ for alcohol use versus illicit substance use and for the prediction of escalation versus de-escalation.

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