Adolescent female substance abuse: Risk and resiliency factors
Mary Bemker, Sci.D, RN
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Alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) abuse is a major social and health concern for adolescent females. For the first time, female use patterns are converging with male patterns among U.S. adolescents. Despite evidence that gender differences could be associated with ATOD origin and precipitating factors, little attention has been directed to female adolescents and ATOD use. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to explore the experiences of adolescent females in relation to ATOD risk and resiliency factors present in their lives. This investigation used the Neuman systems model as its theoretical framework. Grounded theory methodology was employed to collect and analyze data. Qualitative, comparative data were collected from 20 adolescent females (13 to 15 years old) who had a past experience with alcohol, marijuana, and/or other drugs. The respondents either attended an alternative school or lived in an alternative residential setting in the southeastern region of the United States at the time of this investigation. Individual and group interviews were used to collect data. In addition, written material, observation, and interviews with adult staff were incorporated for elaboration and validity. "No Way Out" was identified as the central core concept that emerged from the data. Support concepts included learned helplessness, dealing with the legal system, and a way out of the "no way out". A descriptive model was developed to depict the complexity of life for adolescent females, and the role ATOD use/abuse plays in creating and coping with the resultant stress. Recommendations included: (a) a longitudinal study of the experiences of adolescent females from traditional and alternative settings and their association with ATOD use; (b) replication of this investigation using sites throughout the U.S. and abroad; (c) developing a triangulated investigation with regard to risk and resiliency factors associated with adolescent female ATOD use; (d) educating and training for all health care and social service professionals addressing the dynamics of chemical dependency in relation to adolescent females; (e) establishing mentoring programs between women and female teens, and between female teens and female youth; (f) establishing gender specific programs for adolescent females addressing their needs and the stressors in their lives,* (g) providing adolescent, female self-help groups addressing primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention needs; (h) increasing the number of community prevention and early intervention programs for adolescent females; (i) providing parent education through community programs focusing upon adolescent females and the family; and (j) addressing negative media messages about females and chemical use through professional groups, personal contacts, and community initiatives.
This dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 9714858; ProQuest document ID: 304296882. The author still retains copyright.
This item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
|Review Type||None: Degree-based Submission|
|Evidence Level||Grounded Theory|
|Research Approach||Qualitative Research|
Alcohol and Drug Use;
Risk and Resiliency Factors
Substance Abuse--Risk Factors--In Adolescence;
Substance Abuse--In Adolescence;
Neuman Systems Model;
Substance Abuse--Risk Factors
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