Adolescent Women, Chemical Dependency, Relational-Cultural Theory, Relational Health



  1. Vandermause, Roxanne PhD, CARN
  2. Fougere, Merry DNSc, APRN
  3. Liu, Yi-Hsiu PhD, RN
  4. Odom-Maryon, Tamara PhD


Abstract: Adolescent substance use (SU) endures as a priority concern to communities. The increasing risk of SU in young women has been a rising concern, and the needs of young women may be unique. The importance of relationships and "connectedness" as aberrant behavior protective factors has been validated extensively in the literature of several disciplines over the past decade. Less well described are the components and qualities of relational engagement among adolescents involved in SU treatment. This multimethod study was a broad analysis of the nature of relational health in adolescent girls, so as to determine whether understanding components of relational health could inform SU treatment options. The survey tool, the Relational Health Indices (Liang et al., 2002), was used to measure dimensions and domains of relational health in adolescent girls and informed qualitative methods in the study. It is clear from this research that adolescent girls in SU treatment care deeply about but are confused regarding their relationships with others, particularly their romantic partners and their mothers. They have a desire to help others, specifically their siblings and others struggling with addiction. This article describes the multimethod study and implications for treatment, research, and education.