Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Truancy and marijuana use

Playing truant from school is linked to a number of problems including poor school performance, dropping out of school, commiting crimes and teenage pregnancy. Truancy is also associated with poor adult outcomes including violence, marital instability, job instability, lower status jobs, criminality and ending up in jail. A study of 969 youngsters in Rochester, New York, followed them from 1988 (when they had an average age of 14) to 1992 and looked into the links between truancy and cannabis use. It found that truancy was a significant predictor of cannabis use and that this link was particularly strong in early adolescence. The link remained even after commitment to school, school grades, prior involvement in delinquency and parenting were taken into account. The authors of the study thought that this might be because truancy took the children away from the social control exercised by the school and gave them unsupervised and unmonitored time.

Henry, Kimberley L., Thornberry, Terence P. and Huizinga, David H. - A discrete-time survival analysis of the relationship between truancy and marijuana use Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs January 2009, 70(1), 5-15

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