Abstract: Parents, Peers, and Places: Young Urban Adolescents' Microsystems and Substance Use Involvement (Society for Prevention Research 24th Annual Meeting)

299 Parents, Peers, and Places: Young Urban Adolescents' Microsystems and Substance Use Involvement

Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Pacific D/L (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Nikola Zaharakis, MS, Project Coordinator, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Michael J. Mason, PhD, Associate Professor, Director Commonwealth Institute for Child & Family Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA
Jeremy Mennis, Ph, D, Associate Professor, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
John Mackenzie Light, PhD, Senior Scientist, Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, OR
Julie C. Rusby, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, OR
Erika Westling, Ph.D., Associate Scientist, Oregon Research Institute, Eugene, OR
Stephanie Crewe, MD, Associate Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University, Rich, VA
Thomas Way, PhD, Associate Professor, Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Brian R. Flay, DPhil, Professor, Oregon State University, Cornvallis, OR
Limited research is available that explains complex contextual and interactive effects of microsystems such as family relationships, peer networks, and place-based influences have on urban adolescent substance use.  We contend that research into these complex processes is improved by integrating psychological, social, and geographic data to better understand urban adolescent substance use involvement. Accordingly, we examined teen-parent relationships,   peer network characteristics, and the substance use risk and protective attributes within urban adolescents' activity spaces, among a sample of 248 adolescents. Participants were recruited from an urban adolescent medicine outpatient clinic at a large academic medical institution in Richmond, VA. We collected Ecological Momentary Assessment data to characterize adolescents' moods, behaviors, and activities of their close friends. Every two months for 12 months, participants received EMA surveys beginning on Thursday through Sunday, for a total of 18 per month.  All participants were given a smart phone for the duration of the study.  Each EMA survey automatically generated location data at the moment of EMA data capture using GPS embedded within the phone and recorded as latitude and longitude coordinates. Substance involvement was measured using the Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Involvement Scale. Relations with parents, was measured with the Behavior Assessment System for Children Relations with parents scale. Peer egocentric network data were gathered using the Adolescent Social Network Assessment.  We tested a longitudinal, 3-way moderation model to determine if the direct effect of teen-parent relationships on substance use involvement is moderated by peer network characteristics, which in turn is moderated by the risk and protective attributes within urban adolescents' activity spaces. Results revealed that peer networks moderate the effects of relations with parents on substance use involvement for those adolescents with higher levels of risk attributes within their activity space, but not for those who spend time in locations with less risk.  Thus, the teen-parent relationship interacts with peer network characteristics, for those urban adolescents whose activity space is constituted within high-risk environments.  We conclude that peer networks have important interactive effects with family relationships that influence substance use, and that this is particularly salient for young adolescents who are exposed to risky environments.  This study supports the understanding that social influences are not aspatial, but rather, are embedded within place, and play an important role in creating adolescents’ experiences of place through the social interactions that occur at particular locations.