Teen Marijuana Use

Initiation of Alcohol and Teen Marijuana Use

This study examined dynamic patterns and predictors of alcohol and teen marijuana use initiation. The sample was derived from a longitudinal study of 808 youth interviewed annually from 10 to 16 years of age and at 18 years of age. Rate of alcohol initiation rose steeply up to the age of 13 years and then increased more gradually; most participants had initiated marijuana use by 13 years of age. Marijuana initiation showed a different pattern, with more participants initiating after the age of 13 years. The study showed that: (1) the risk of initiation of teen marijuana use spans the entire course of adolescent development; (2) young people exposed to others who use illicit drugs are at higher risk for early initiation; (3) proactive parents can help delay initiation; and (4) clear family standards and proactive family management are important in delaying alcohol and teen marijuana use, regardless of how closely bonded a child is to his or her mother.

Study released from the National Institute on Drug Abuse