The Stability and Impact of Environmental Factors on Substance Use and Problems After Adolescent Outpatient Treatment for Cannabis Abuse or Dependence


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Abstract

Because alcohol or other drug use following adolescent substance abuse treatment is common, understanding mediators of posttreatment outcome could help improve treatment interventions. The authors conducted path analyses based on data from 552 adolescents (aged 12–18; 82% male) with cannabis abuse or dependence who participated in outpatient treatment. The analysis used the Family Conflict and Cohesion subscales, from the Family Environment Scale, and several scales and indices from the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs. Family conflict, family cohesion, and social support indirectly predicted substance use and substance-related problems as mediated by recovery environment and social risk. This model replicated across 4 follow-up waves (3, 6, 9, and 12 months postintake). These results support the idea of targeting environmental factors during continuing care as a way to improve treatment outcomes for adolescents with cannabis disorders.

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