Other-Sex Friendships Early Predict Substance Use in Girls

Faster pace of mixed-sex networks may indicate risk of alcohol, drug use later

MONDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Girls whose friendship networks transition from girls-only to mixed-sex early in adolescence and with rapidity appear to be more likely to use alcohol and drugs in late adolescence, according to research published online March 9 in the Journal of Research on Adolescence.

To evaluate the effect of changes in gender composition in friendship networks on substance use, François Poulin, of the Université du Québec à Montréal, and colleagues interviewed 390 girls and boys each year from ages 12 to 18 about their friendship networks and use of alcohol and drugs.

The researchers found a higher proportion of other-sex friends early on predictive of later-adolescent alcohol use in both boys and girls, and of drug use in girls only. For girls, a faster increase in other-sex friendships predicted later alcohol use.

"In conclusion, it was shown that, even though other-sex friendships could be seen as a desirable and normative form of interpersonal relationship in early adolescence, the pace (e.g., slope factor) at which girls introduce boys into their network could also be a reliable indicator of developmental risk," the authors write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Powered by

jQuery UI Accordion - Default functionality

For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.

Nursing Jobs Plus
Featured Jobs
Recommended CE Articles Recommended Nursing Articles Evidence Based Practice Skin Care Network NursingCenter Quick Links What’s Trending Events