Abstention from Drug Use and Delinquency Increasing among Youth in the United States, 2002–2014

Michael G. Vaughn, Erik J. Nelson, Sehun Oh, Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Matt DeLisi, Katie J. Holzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Trends in abstaining from substance use and delinquency among adolescent's ages 12–17 in the United States was examined. Methods: Data was derived from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) involving non-Hispanic white, African American, and Hispanic respondents (n = 98,620) and spanning the years 2002–2014. Logistic regression was used to examine significance of trend year and correlates of low-risk and high-risk behavioral groups relative to abstaining. Results: Overall, the prevalence of abstaining was 47.56% between 2002 and 2014. Prevalence increased significantly among all adolescents from 44.85% in 2002 to 53.58% in 2014. Relative to abstainers nonabstaining youth were more likely to be male, and report lower household income, poorer grades, depression, and lower levels of parental affirmation and control. Conclusions: Findings indicate that there is a corresponding increase in abstaining mirroring the recent decreases found in adolescent drug use found in national surveys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1468-1481
Number of pages14
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 29

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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