Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Health

First Advisor's Name

Elena Bastida

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Consuelo Beck-Sague

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Jessy G. Devieux

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Wensong Wu

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Alcohol, Drug, AOD, Adolescent, Adolescents, Adolescence, Add Health, Public Health, Longitudinal

Date of Defense



The literature has well-documented the deleterious effect of alcohol and other drug (AOD) use on adolescent development and future outcomes. Despite these devastating results, some adolescents are able to attain high achievement as adults, despite their earlier AOD use. Secondary quantitative analyses were conducted on nationally-representative data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Longitudinal data, collected at Wave I (1994-1995), and Wave IV (2007-2008), were analyzed from a sample of 4,266 American high school students between the ages of 13-19 years. The majority of high school students in the sample self-reported AOD use (n=2,833, 66.4%), compared to those students who self-reported non-AOD-use (n=1,433, 33.6%). Statistically significant findings indicated that with the exception of household income, non-AOD-using adolescents experienced more favorable outcomes with regard to educational attainment, occupational status, and involvement with the criminal justice system when compared to their AOD-using counterparts. In addition, through ordinal and binomial logistic regressions, the present study identified risk and protective factors affecting the adult outcomes of adolescents who used AODs. Gender, age, grade level, importance of religion, frequency of prayer, fighting, suspensions, expulsions, and happiness in neighborhood were statistically significant in predicting educational attainment. Grade level and feeling safe in school were found to be statistically significant in predicting occupational status. Gender, fighting, suspensions, and alcohol use by best friends were statistically significant in predicting involvement with the criminal justice system.





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