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Environmental factors in adolescent cannabis and alcohol use

Applicant Gmel Gerhard
Number 111849
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Addiction Info Suisse
Institution of higher education Non-profit organisations (libraries, museums, foundations) and administration - NPO
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.04.2006 - 30.09.2006
Approved amount 29'498.00
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Keywords (5)

adolescents; alcohol use; cannabis use; school environment; multi-level modelling

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Alcohol consumption and cannabis use are clearly detrimental to academic performance, completion of schooling, and adolescent development. The last 20 years have seen a dramatic increase in cannabis use and drunkenness among 15-year-olds. In 2003, with nearly 50%, Switzerland had the highest lifetime prevalence of cannabis use among 15-year olds in Europe and elsewhere. This worrisome result calls for strengthened research efforts to better understand the aetiology of cannabis use among adolescents and to plan effective prevention strategies accordingly. The suggested study aims to shed light on the influence of the school environment on students’substance use in a multilevel framework. More specifically, it is designed to determine how at the individual level cannabis use is associated with students’ perception of easy availability of cannabis and with the proportion of cannabis-using peers; how the permissiveness of the school environment towards cannabis use influences its use by individuals; how adolescent alcohol use is associated with perceived availability of different alcoholic beverages, and how this association is modified by environmental factors such as alcohol outlet densities (viz. the frequency of shops and bars in the school surrounding) and public drinking by adolescents. Data will be used from the Swiss participation in the “European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Drugs (ESPAD)” in 2003. The proposed project will contribute to a better understanding of the environmental factors associated with alcohol and cannabis use among adolescents by applying an innovative analytical strategy (i.e. multilevelmodelling) to patterns of individual substance use. By its results it will contribute substantially to the planning of effective prevention strategies at the school level, and at the same time it will close a research gap in relation to adolescent substance use, a field in which the use of multilevel models particularly within the European cultural context is still rare. The study will provide evidence for the impact of structural factors on adolescent substance use and will offer suggestions on how policy measures can target such substance use. Acceptance of the two planned manuscripts in high-rated journals guarantees the quality of the manuscripts through the peer-review process and the dissemination of the research findings to an international audience.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
126643 Pre-partying nighthawks in Switzerland? Intra- and inter-individual determinants of the development of young people’s alcohol consumption across the evening 01.01.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
129570 Why drink? Predictive value of drinking motives in taste-rating experiments 01.05.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)