The Multiple Risk Factors Hypothesis: An Integrating Concept of the Etiology of Drug Abuse

  • Brenna H. Bry


Recently, researchers have been studying the etiology of drug abuse by sampling large numbers of adolescents, assessing a wide range of psychosocial characteristics, and applying multivariate statistical methods to determine which combination of the characteristics best explains initiation or extent of drug use (Jessor & Jessor, 1978; Kandel, Treiman, Faust, & Single, 1976; Segal, Huba, & Singer, 1980b; Smith & Fogg, 1978; Pandina & Schuele, 1983). While some intriguing convergences have occurred among the findings of these studies, some puzzling discrepancies have also been noted. In the past, such discrepancies could be explained by problems in research design, but current studies are well designed and executed. Consequently, the field is now faced with the challenge of integrating disparate findings.


Drug Abuse Heavy Drug Etiological Variable Multiple Classification Analysis Drug Abuse Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Blum, R. H., Blum, E., & Garfield, E., Drug Education: Results and Recommendations. Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath & Co., 1976.Google Scholar
  2. Braucht, G. N., Kirby, M.W., & Berry, G.J. “Psychosocial correlates of empirical types of multiple drug abusers,” J. Consult. Clin. Psych. 46: 1463–1475, 1978.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown, G. W., & Harris, T. Some Origins of Depression: A Study of Psychiatric Disorder in Women. New York: Free Press, 1978.Google Scholar
  4. Bry, B. H., & George, F. E., “ The preventive effects of early intervention upon the attendance and grades of urban adoloescents,” Prof. Psych., 11: 252–260, 1980.Google Scholar
  5. Bry, B. H., & George, F. E., “Evaluating and improving prevention programs: A strategy from drug abuse.” Evaluation and Program Planning, 2: 127–136, 1979.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bry, B. H., McKeon, P., & Pandina, R. J., “Extent of drug use as a function of number of risk factors,” J. Abn. Psych., 91: 273–279, 1982.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dawber, T.R., Kannel, W. B., & Lyell, L. P., “An approach to longitudinal studies in a community: The Framingham Study,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 107: 539–556, 1963.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Derogatis, L. R., Rickels, K., & Rock, A. F., “The SCL-90 and the MMPI: A step in the validation of a new self-report scale,” Brit. J. Psychiat., 128: 280–289, 1976.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dunnette, M. D., “Individualized prediction as a strategy for discovering demographic and interpersonal/psychological correlates of drug resistance and abuse,” In D. J. Lettieri (Ed.), Predicting Adolescent Drug Abuse: A Review of Issues, Methods and Correlates. Research Issues 11. Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1975.Google Scholar
  10. Dohrenwend, B. S., “Life events as stressors: A methodological inquiry,” J. Health Social Behay., 14: 167–175, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gossett, J. T., Lewis, J. M., & Phillips, V. A., “Psychological characteristics of adolescent drug users and abstainers: Some implications for preventive education,” Bull. Menninger Clinic, 36: 525–535, 1972.Google Scholar
  12. Jessor, R., & Jessor, S. L., Theory testing in longitudinal research on marijuana use. In D. B. Kandel (Ed.), Longitudinal Research on Drug Use: Empirical Findings and Methodological Issues. Washington, DC: Hemisphere, 1978.Google Scholar
  13. Kaestner, E., Rosen, L., & Appel, P., “Patterns of drug abuse: Relationships with ethnicity, sensation seeking, and anxiety,” J. Consult. Clin. Psych., 45: 462–468, 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kandel, D. B., Convergences in prospective longitudinal surveys of drug use in normal populations. In D. B. Kandel (Ed.), Longitudinal Research on Drug Use: Empirical Findings and Methodological Issues. Washington, DC: Hemisphere, 1978.Google Scholar
  15. Kandel, D. B., Kessler, R. C., & Margulies, R. Z., “Antecedents of adolescent initiation into stages of drug use: A developmental analysis,” In D. B. Kandel (Ed.), Longitudinal Research on Drug Use: Empirical Findings and Methodological Issues. Washington, DC: Hemisphere, 1978.Google Scholar
  16. Kandel, D.B., Treiman, D., Faust, R., & Single, E., “Adolescent involvement in legal and illegal drug use: A multiple classification analysis,” Social Forces, 55: 438–458, 1976.Google Scholar
  17. Kelly, F. J., & Baer, D. J., “Jessness Inventory and self-concept measures for delinquents before and after participation in Outward Bound,” Psych. Rep., 25: 719–724, 1969.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kleber, H. D., Berberian, R. M., Gould, L. C., & Kasl, S. V., Evaluation of an adolescent drug education program (Final Report of NIDA Grant No. DA-00055). Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1975.Google Scholar
  19. Klein, N. C., Alexander, J. F., & Parsons, B.V., “Impact of family systems intervention on recidivism and sibling delinquency: A model of primary prevention and program evaluation,” J. Consult. Clin. Psych. 45: 469–474, 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lu, K. H., “The indexing and analysis of drug indulgence,” Int. J. Addict., 9: 785–804, 1974.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Meyer, A. J., & Henderson, J. B., “Multiple risk factor reduction in the prevention of cardiovascular disease,” Prey. Med., 3: 225–236, 1974.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nathan, P. E., & Harris, S. L., Psychopathology and Society, 2nd edn., New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980.Google Scholar
  23. Pandina, R. J. (Ed.). Coping with Adolescent Substance Use. Final Research Report. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies, 1978.Google Scholar
  24. Pandina, R. J., & Schuele, J. A., “Psychosocial correlates of alcohol and drug use of adolescent students and adolescents in treatment,” J. Stud. Alcohol, 44: 950–973, 1983.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Pandina, R. J., White, H. R., & Yorke, J., “Estimation of substance use involvement: Theoretical considerations and empirical findings,” Int. J. Addic., 16: 1–24, 1981.Google Scholar
  26. Penfield, D. A., & Whiteley, R. Final evaluation of an experimental three–year program in drug abuse prevention involving the school system, the community, and the student population in the Piscataway, New Jersey schools (Final Report, NIDA Grant No. R25–DA00832–02). Piscataway, NJ: Piscataway Public Schools, August 1977.Google Scholar
  27. Piers, H. V., Manual for the Piers-Harris Children’s Self-concept Scale. (The Way I Feel About Myself). Nashville, TN. Counselor Recordings and Tests, 1968.Google Scholar
  28. Sandler, I. N., & Block, M., “Life stress and maladaptation of children,” Am. J. Commun. Psych., 7: 425–440, 1979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Segal, B., Huba, G. J., & Singer, J. L., “Reasons for drug and alcohol use by college students,” Int. J. Addict., 15:489–498, 1980(a).Google Scholar
  30. Segal, B., Huba, G. J., & Singer, J. L., “Prediction of college drug use from personality and inner experience,” Int. J. Addict., 15:849–867, 1980(b).Google Scholar
  31. Smith, G. M., & Fogg, C. P., Psychological predictors of early use, late use, and nonuse of marijuana among teenage students. In D. B. Kandel (Ed.). Longitudinal Research on Drug Use: Empirical Findings and Methodological Issues. Washington, DC: Hemisphere, 1978.Google Scholar
  32. Streit, F. Evaluation of Open Door (Final Report on NIDA Prevention Grant to Open Door). Highland Park, NJ: Streit Associates, June 1977.Google Scholar
  33. Streit, F., Halstead, D. L., & Pascale, P. J., “Differences among youthful users and nonusers of drugs based on their perceptions of parental behavior,” Int. J. Addict., 9: 749–755, 1974.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Streit, R., g Oliver, H. G., “ The child’s perception of his family and its relationship to drug use,” Drug Forum, 3: 283–289, 1972.Google Scholar
  35. Tennant, F. S., Jr., & Detels, R., “Relationship of alcohol, cigarette, and drug abuse in adulthood with alcohol, cigarette, and coffee consumption in childhood,” Prey. Med., 5: 70–77, 1976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tennant, F. S., Jr., Detels, R., & Clark, V., “Some childhood antecedents of drug and alcohol abuse,” Am. J. Epidem., 102: 377–384, 1975.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brenna H. Bry
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Applied and Professional PsychologyRutgers — The State UniversityPiscatawayUSA

Personalised recommendations