Examining Gender Differences in Drug-Abusing Adolescents


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Abstract

This exploratory study examined gender differences among drug-abusing adolescents (N = 2,281). Overall, male adolescents reported somewhat higher usage levels of various drugs than did female adolescents, and they had an earlier onset of regular marijuana use. In terms of clinical signs of problem severity, female adolescents showed higher scores than male adolescents on Physical Symptoms, Escape (with drugs), and Emotional Consequences (of drug use) scales when drug use levels were controlled. However, the relatively small magnitude of the significant differences, and the fact that many scales did not show group differences, suggest that male and female adolescents attending drug clinics share many similar features of adolescent drug abuse. Implications of these findings for the prevention and treatment of adolescent drug abuse are discussed.

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