Implicit Cognition in Adolescent Drug Use

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Health Psychology | Substance Abuse and Addiction


Predominant theories of adolescent drug use have emphasized intrapersonal variables (e.g., from personality and cognitive domains) and interpersonal variables (e.g., social influence and societal norm domains) to explain why adolescents begin and continue to use psychoactive drugs (for reviews, see Hawkins, Catalano, & Miller, 1992; Petraitis, Flay, & Miller, 1995). Within the cognitive domain of theories, variables such as outcome expectancies, beliefs, attitudes, and self-efficacy often have been assessed as predictors of drug use. For example, expectancy constructs assessed during adolescence have been found to predict subsequent adolescent drug use (Bauman, Fisher, Bryan, & Chenoweth, 1984, 1985; Christiansen, Smith, Roehling, & Goldman, 1989) and subsequent adult drug use assessed after an extensive time period (Stacy, Newcomb, & Bentler, 1991). Although research on cognitive antecedents of drug use has been fruitful, typically only a limited range of cognitive variables is assessed in prediction studies.

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© 1996 American Psychological Association