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APPC Research on Teens and Substance Abuse Is Highlighted

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has highlighted a study on teens and substance abuse conducted by Annenberg Public Policy Center’s distinguished research fellow Atika Khurana and the center’s research director, Dan Romer.

In the May 16, 2016 web post “NIDA Notes,” the institute summarized the research, which was published in Development and Psychopathology. The researchers assessed sensation seeking and indicators of impulsivity in 382 children age 11 to 13, and asked about their use of tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana.


“Young teens who avidly seek novel and intense sensations are slightly more likely than their more cautious peers to initiate substance use, NIDA-supported researchers report,” according to the web article, which is titled “Sensation Seeking Promotes Initiation, Impulsivity Promotes Escalation of Substance Use.” It continued, “However, these teens are not more likely to become regular substance users within the next 3 years unless they also are prone to devalue distant consequences and act impulsively.”

Authors on the study are Khurana, of the University of Oregon; Romer, of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania; and Laura M. Betancourt, Nancy L. Brodsky, Joan M. Giannetta and Hallam Hurt, of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

To read the abstract, click here.