Australian Institute of Criminology

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Parental psychological distress and adolescent substance use : intervening processes

Australian Institute of Criminology, Howard B Kaplan
03 July 2002 -

Howard B. Kaplan, PhD
Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Mary Thomas Marshall Professor of Liberal Arts; and
Director, Laboratory for Studies of Social Deviance


A model explaining substance use is estimated using data from a multigenerational longitudinal study of 2400 biologically related parent-adolescent pairs. The model is informed by an integrative theory that encompasses adaptations to stress, social learning, and social control perspectives. Second generation (G2) adolescent drug use is explained in terms of parental psychological distress, parental drug use, neglectful and harsh parenting patterns, G2 perceptions of parental substance use, and G2 psychological distress. Implications for planned social interventions are discussed.

Howard B. Kaplan, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor Sociology and Mary Thomas Marshall Professor of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology in 1958 from New York University. His 188 publications include ten books and over 175 peer review articles or contributions to edited works in the areas of substance abuse, mental health, deviant behavior, and related areas. His research has been continuously funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse since 1980. He holds a Senior Scientist Award from the same institute. Since 1971 he has directed multigenerational longitudinal studies of large in-community populations to test theoretically informed models of the antecedents and consequences of drug abuse and other deviant adaptations to life stress. The major study involves interviewing a cohort of 9,300 seventh graders up to six times between adolescence and the fourth decade of life, and following the children of that cohort who have reached the age their parents were when they were first interviewed. Among his awards are the Outstanding Mental Health Research Award from the Mental Health Association of Houston and the Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award in Research from Texas A&M University. His most recent book publication is: Kaplan, H .B. and R.J. Johnson. Social Deviance: Testing a General Theory. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum., 2001

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