Self-Generated Drug Outcomes in High Risk Adolescents

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Health Psychology | Substance Abuse and Addiction


Continuation high schools form a natural demarcation of youths who are at relatively high risk for substance abuse (Sussman et al., 1995). In California and several other states, high school age youths who are unable to remain in the regular school system for functional reasons, including substance use, are transferred to this type of school. When developing drug abuse interventions for students enrolled in these schools, it is imperative to ascertain the students' perceived costs and benefits of drug use. Assessments of perceived costs help the investigator understand what negative outcomes of drug use these adolescents are already well aware of and which negative outcomes appear to be of very low salience. Subsequently, intervention activities may then use this information in a variety of ways, for example, in attempts to make certain negative outcomes more accessible from memory (e.g., Stacy, Dent, et al., 1990). Assesments of perceived benefits allow for the development of intervention activities that may provide healthy alternatives or that may challenge deeply ingrained, but erroneous, beliefs (e.g., Darkes & Goldman, 1993; Smith & Goldman, 1994).

Rights Information

© 1996 American Psychological Association