Psychosocial Factors Associated With the Initiation of Cocaine Use Among Marijuana Users

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A short-term prospective design was used to investigate factors associated with the initiation of cocaine use during a 1-year period among a population sample of 942 marijuana users. In addition to demographic items, variables pertaining to various psychosocial characteristics including psychiatric symptoms, personality attributes, social support, and peer pressure were examined. Using cocaine nonusers as a comparison group, male gender, risk-taking tendencies, and socializing with friends on streets or in cars were identified as significant predictors of initiation. Implications for primary prevention programs include redirecting early sensation-seeking tendencies in children and adolescents toward more positive behaviors.

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