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Synopsis

Does success in school protect teenagers from drug use? Does drug use impair scholastic success? This book tackles a key issue in adolescent development and health - the education-drug use connection. The authors examine the links and likely causal connections between educational experiences, delinquent behavior, and adolescent use of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine.

The book uses data from the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future project. It focuses on a large and nationally representative sample of 8th grade students in the United States who were initially surveyed in 1991-1993 and then followed over the vitally important developmental period between ages 14 and 22. The volume uses a variety of statistical analysis techniques, and the findings can be understood by individuals with limited, as well as with extensive, backgrounds in research design. The findings convincingly demonstrate that if young people can be successful in school, it can improve a broad range of outcomes in their lives, not the least of which is their ability to resist pressures to use drugs. The book provides: a summary of the findings and conclusions; a review of relevant literature; a detailed discussion of the survey and analysis methods; the academic attainment of those in the longitudinal panel; the delinquent behaviors of panel members as they relate to measures of educational success; and the patterns of initiation, continuation, and cessation for each substance: cigarettes, marijuana, cocaine, and alcohol.

This book is intended for anyone who deals with education and/or substance use, including educational, developmental, and social psychologists; sociologists; epidemiologists; educators; and policy makers. The analysis of panel survey data, using a variety of techniques, will also appeal to survey methodologists and students.

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