Wednesday, may 25, 2005 7: 00 am – 5: 00 pm registration


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Chair: Eve Reider

  • Lexington/Concord


FOSTER CARE AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE: UNDERSTANDING AND ENDING THE CYCLE. Eve Reider1, Richard Barth2, Patricia Chamberlain3, John Landsverk4, John Reid3, Steve Hornberger5, Elizabeth Robertson1, 1National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD United States; 2University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC United States; 3Oregon Social Learning Center, Eugene, OR United States; 4Children's Hospital Research Center, San Diego, CA United States; 5Child Welfare League of America, Washington, DC United States

This roundtable brings experts on foster care and drug abuse prevention together to discuss the tremendous gaps that exist in understanding the inter-relationships between these two areas. There are over 500,000 children in foster care at any one time, and over 230,000 children entering foster care in any given year. There appears to be clear consensus that children who have been removed from their biological families and placed in foster homes are a highly vulnerable population; they are at great risk for a wide range of difficulties over their life course that include educational failure, mental health disorders, externalizing problems, substance abuse, health risking sexual behavior, and delinquency. The biological parents of children in the Child Welfare System (CWS) often have severe problems parenting their children and parental neglect is reportedly the most frequent reason for out-of-home placements in foster care. Moreover, at least 50% of the substantiated child abuse and neglect cases involve parental substance abuse and about 66% of the youth in foster care have a parent requiring treatment for substance abuse. While 50 to 75% of foster care children do eventually return home, nearly 20% to 40% of these reunifications fail, resulting in the youths´ re-entry into the CWS. Clearly, children in foster care and their families represent a high-risk, underserved population. The current state of our knowledge suggest that there are more questions than answers regarding the relationship between these two problems and how best to intervene to improve outcomes for these families.

Our distinguished panel includes several scientists and agency representatives: Richard P. Barth, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Patricia Chamberlain, Oregon Social Learning Center; John A. Landsverk, San Diego State University; John Reid, Oregon Social Learning Center. Agency representatives include: Steve Hornsberger, Child Welfare League of America, and Elizabeth Robertson, National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The panelist will discuss: 1) the apparent relationship between substance abuse and entry into the child welfare system; 2) major research accomplishments and gap areas, and 3) important research questions that need to be addressed and appropriate strategies for addressing them. Specific areas that may be examined include: etiology (specifically the effects of substance abuse on child foster care placement and child foster care placement on subsequent substance abuse), child and family psycho-social and behavioral outcomes, models of care, research to practice, and disparities (e.g., racial/ethnic, gender socioeconomic and geographical factors).



Chair: Denise Gottfredson

  • Columbia C


SYMPOSIUM: AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS AND DELINQUENCY. Denise Gottfredson1, Stephanie Gerstenblith2, David Soule3, Amanda Cross1, 1University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD United States; 2Caliber Associates, Inc., Wilmington, DE United States; 3Maryland Sentencing Commission, College Park, MD United States

After school programs (ASPs) are popular and receive substantial public funding. Aside from their child-care and supervision value, ASPs often provide youth development and skill-building activities that might reduce delinquent behavior. These possibilities and the observation that arrests for juvenile crime peak between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on school days, have increased interest in the delinquency prevention potential of ASPs. This symposium presents recent research on after school programs and delinquency. The first paper provides an overview of prior research conducted by the research team that led to the research reported in the remaining three papers. First, it summarizes national data that suggests a link between the use of after school time and delinquency. It then summarizes results from a series of studies of ASPs conducted in Maryland between 1997 and 2000. These earlier studies (a) compared the characteristics of youths who volunteered to participate in after school programs with a national sample of youths to investigate the characteristics of youths who typically participate in ASPs; (b) studied patterns of attrition from ASPs to understand what types of youths drop out of ASPs; (c) analyzed self-reports of the timing of delinquency to explore the extent to which self-reports mirror the relationship found in official records; (d) compared delinquency outcomes for ASP participants and non-participants; and (e) examined the mechanism through which participation in ASPs affected delinquent behavior. Results of these studies showed that

 After school participants are much less delinquent than a national sample of same-aged youths.

 Prior to dropping out of the programs, youths who dropout of after school programs are more at-risk for delinquent behavior than youths who persist in the programs.

 Although self-reported delinquency mirrors official records in showing that the after school hours are a time of elevated delinquency, the peak is modest compared with arrest data.

 Participation in after school programs reduces delinquent behavior for middle-school but not for elementary-school-aged youths.

 This reduction is not due to decreased time spent unsupervised or by increased involvement in constructive activities, but rather the effect is mediated by increasing intentions not to use drugs and positive peer associations.

 The strongest effects on delinquency were found in programs that incorporated a high emphasis on social skills and character development.

Each of the remaining three papers in the panel replicate or extend these findings from our prior research on after school programs.


AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM PARTICIPATION AND DELINQUENCY: A REPLICATION STUDY. Denise Gottfredson1, Stephanie Gerstenblith2, 1University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD United States; 2Caliber Associates, Wilmington, DE United States

This paper reports a replication of our earlier study of the effects of after school participation on delinquency (Gottfredson et al., in press). An evaluation of Maryland after school programs in 1999-2000 found that programs including social skills training were associated with more favorable outcomes than those that did not. Based on the results, the Governor´s Office of Crime Control and Prevention required personnel from all funded after school programs in Maryland to incorporate approved, research-based social skills training component into their programs for the 2001-2002 year. The University of Maryland research team re-evaluated Maryland´s after school programs during the 2001-2002 school year to assess the effects of these presumably stronger ASPs. We also sought to explore more thoroughly the effect of after school programs on time expenditure during the after school hours and to test additional mediators in light of the previous study finding that the effects of ASPs on delinquency was only partially mediated by the included variables. More than 1,000 youths participated in this study as either participants in one of the 21 funded programs or comparison students. Attrition from the study was even across groups, with 21% of the treatment group and 23% of the comparison group missing post-test surveys. Structural equations modeling was used to estimate a model of the effects of after school participation on delinquency outcomes and to test the following potential mediators of these effects: Intentions to Use Drugs, Involvement in Constructive Activities, Social Skills, Positive Peer Influences, Peer Drug Models, Commitment to Education, Attachment to Pro-Social Adults, Belief in Rules, and Grade Point Average (GPA).

Results showed again that ASP participation did not affect problem behavior outcomes for elementary-school-aged youths. Unexpectedly, the middle school comparison group fared better than those in the treatment group on a measure of problem behavior. The effect of ASP participation on time expenditure was not as anticipated: Treatment youths spent more unsupervised time with friends than did controls. The negative effect of ASP participation on problem behavior was mediated by negative effects on attachment to pro-social adults and social skills. The earlier finding with respect to emphasis on social skills was replicated, however: Programs with structured cognitive/social skills training had a positive impact on rebelliousness and several of the mediators. Smaller programs were also more effective than larger programs. Implications for the design of ASPs are discussed.

Gottfredson, D. C. Weisman, S. A., Soulé, D. A., Womer, S. C. & Lu, S. (in press). Do After School Programs Reduce Delinquency? Prevention Science.


IT´S 3 P.M. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR CHILD IS OR WHAT HE/SHE IS DOING? AN EXPLORATORY STUDY ON THE TIMING OF JUVENILE VICTIMIZATION AND DELINQUENCY. Denise Gottfredson1, David Soule2, 1University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD United States; 2Maryland Sentencing Commission, College Park, MD United States

In recent years, after-school programs have received considerable public and policymaker support for their potential to reduce juvenile delinquency and victimization. In large part, this support stems from a series of recent reports, which indicated juvenile crime and victimization peaks during the after-school hours (e.g. Snyder and Sickmund, 1999). However, much of the existing research suffers from a few key limitations.

Utilizing self-report data collected from a sample of juveniles participating in an evaluation of after-school programs in Maryland, this study was designed to more

clearly determine the timing of juvenile victimization, delinquency, and substance use by addressing some of the key limitations of previous research. In general, the results of the current study present a somewhat different picture of the timing of juvenile offending behavior. The examination of the aggregated measures indicated juvenile victimization and delinquency was most prominent during the school hours, while substance was elevated during the weekend.

Notably, an examination of the individual offenses revealed more variation in the timing of juvenile victimization and delinquency. The more serious violent offenses for both victimization (e.g. victim of an aggravated assault) and delinquency (e.g. involvement in gang fights) were elevated during the after school hours, while simple assaults offenses (for both victims and delinquents) were overwhelmingly most prominent during school hours. This finding suggests that one undesirable side effect of grouping youths together for schooling is an increase in simple assault crimes.

In addition, the current study revealed the greatest percentage of substance users reported using cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana during the weekend. However, after controlling for the actual amount of time available to use these substances in each time period, cigarette and smokeless tobacco use was slightly more elevated during the after-school hours than during the weekend, while alcohol and marijuana use were most prominent during the weekend. In sum, earlier studies, including our own study (Gottfredson, Gottfredson, and Weisman, 2001 ) that either examined a single offense or aggregated crime measures were misleading because the timing of crime varies considerably by type of crime. Implications for policy and future research are discussed.

Gottfredson, D. C., Gottfredson, G. D. & Weisman, S. A. (2001). The Timing of Delinquent Behavior and Its Implications for After-School Programs. Criminology & Public Policy, 1, 1, 61-80.

Snyder, H. & Sickmund, M. (1999). Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report. Washington, DC: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.


META-ANALYSIS OF AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM EFFECTS. Denise Gottfredson1, Amanda Cross1, 1University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD United States

This paper replicates and extends or previous work on the effects of after school programs (Gottfredson et al., in press) and the factors related to positive outcomes in such programs (Weisman et al., in press). The Maryland General Assembly passed the Maryland After School Opportunity Act in 1999. The Act created the Maryland After School Opportunity Fund Program (MASOFP), which provided after-school care and programs throughout the State. MASOFP was intended to help improve student behaviors and safety, but provided few guidelines as to the design, structure or content of programs it would fund. As a result, a widely diverse array of programs was launched with the help of MASOFP. 443 middle and elementary students, who attended 42 different MASOF programs in the 2002-2003 school year, completed pre and post-tests measuring outcomes such as delinquency, drug use and pro-social attitudes. 113 students from 10 sites, who did not attend a MASOF program, served as controls. Along with student characteristics, researchers observed program operation and interviewed program directors. This study uses meta-analytic techniques to assess the effects of participation in after school programs (utilizing the comparison groups) as well as to identify the characteristics of programs and their populations that are related to larger changes from pre-to-post on a variety of problem behavior outcomes as well as intermediate outcomes targeted by the programs. Population and method characteristics are first examined. Residualized effects sizes (e.g., with effects of population and methods removed) are then used as dependent variables in a series of analyses to identify features of the programs (e.g., staffing patterns, duration and intensity of program, and program activities) related to more positive outcomes.

Weisman, S. A., Soulé, D. A., Gottfredson, D. C., Lu, S., Kellstrom, M. A., Womer, S. C. & Bryner, S. L. (in press). After school programs, antisocial behavior, and positive youth development: An exploration of the relationship between program implementation and changes in youth development. In Mahoney, J. L., Eccles, J. S., and Larson, R. (Eds.). After-School Activities: Context of Development.

Gottfredson, D. C. Weisman, S. A., Soulé, D. A., Womer, S. C. & Lu, S. (in press). Do After School Programs Reduce Delinquency? Prevention Science.



Chair: Kevin Haggerty

  • Capitol A



The purpose of the present study was to examine risk perception as a potential moderator for the relationship between parental substance use involvement and adolescent marijuana use.

This study used data from the 1997 and 1998 National Household Surveys on Drug Abuse (NHSDA). A total of 2481 parent-child pairs were derived, so that adolescents´ marijuana use involvement and perceptions could be analyzed in relation to parental use of marijuana, alcohol, and cigarettes. The parent and the adolescent were interviewed independently and in confidentiality, using the same standardized questionnaire. Substance use measurements used in the present study included lifetime, past year, and past year dependency (for both the parent and the adolescent); risk perception was based on the adolescent´s perceived risk of physical harm from weekly marijuana use. Data analyses allowed for the control of potential confounders, including: age, gender, race, location, socio-economic status, peer marijuana use, and marijuana use parental attitude.

As expected, parental use of marijuana, alcohol, and cigarettes was associated with adolescent marijuana use. In most of the models to test for moderation, “great” (high) risk perception was inversely associated with the influence of parental substance use on adolescent marijuana use. The odds of marijuana use among adolescents who perceived great risk in weekly marijuana use and who had a parent who had ever used marijuana were greater compared to adolescents with a parent who had never used marijuana (OR=3.4, 90% CI=1.18, 9.64), but these odds of marijuana use were lower compared to adolescents with a parent who had ever used marijuana but did not perceive great risk (OR=7.6, 90% CI=3.34, 17.33). Limitations notwithstanding, this research suggests that risk perception could function as a protective factor and could be a potential component of interventions, which involve children of substance users.



Genetic, physiological and psychological investigations have demonstrated that deficient inhibitory regulation amplifies the risk for substance use disorder (SUD). This study extends this line of research by determining the association between childhood neurobehavior disinhibition and decision to desist substance use following prevention interventions during adolescence. The sample consisted of 302 boys who were evaluated at ages 10-12, 12-14, 16, 19, and 22. Results indicated that neurobehavior disinhibition predicted decision to desist substance use and both variables were associated with acceleration of drug consumption frequency during adolescence and SUD by age 22. Decision to desist drug use did not mediate the relation between neurobehavior disinhibition and substance use/SUD. It is concluded that the decision to desist drug use following intervention maybe potentiated by ameliorating childhood neurobehavior disinhibition.


GENETIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES ON ADOLESCENT CANNABIS INVOLVEMENT: THE ROLE OF PARENT, PEER AND YOUTH CHARACTERISTICS. Holly Wilcox1, Jenae Neiderhiser1, Erica Spotts1, David Reiss1, 1George Washington University, Washington, DC United States

Although research has shown that peer, parental and youth characteristics are linked with adolescent cannabis initiation and use, these relationships have not been studied together using a genetically informative sample. The data for this study is from the first two waves of the Nonshared Environment in Adolescent Development (NEAD) project, a longitudinal study designed to investigate the role of nonshared environment on adolescent development. The sample consists of a total of 720 two-parent families across the United States with at least two same-sex adolescent sibling pairs, approximately evenly divided by sex (51.6% boys). The families comprise a genetically varied sample of monozygotic and dizygotic twins in nondivorced families, full siblings from nondivorced and step-families, half siblings, and genetically unrelated stepsiblings. Univariate and multivariate twin-family models were used to clarify the mechanism of vulnerability to cannabis involvement. After the influence of deviant and drug using peers was removed from the association between antisocial behavior (ASB) and cannabis involvement, the relationship between ASB and cannabis involvement could be explained primarily by genetic influences. In terms of influences unique to cannabis involvement, these were mainly genetic and to a much lesser extent nonshared environmental. This lends some support to a possible shared genetic liability to both ASB and cannabis involvement as well as to the importance of genetic predisposition via personality or temperamental traits on cannabis involvement. Understanding the etiology and mechanisms associated with cannabis involvement is a critical step toward prevention. This research suggests that interventions targeting antisocial and disruptive behaviors may be effective in preventing cannabis involvement.



Chair: Lynda Erinoff

  • Capitol B


PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE AMONG YOUTH. Lynda Erinoff1, Linda Simoni-Wastila2, 1National Institutes of Health, NIDA, Bethesda, MD United States; 2University of Maryland at Baltimore, Baltimore, MD United States

Abuse of prescription drugs among adolescents and young adults has increased dramatically in the past few years. The 2002 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (formerly known as the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse) reports that lifetime nonmedical pain reliever prevalence among youths aged 12 to 17 increased from 2001 (9.6%) to 2002 (11.2%), continuing an increasing trend from 1989 (1.2%). Among young adults aged 18 to 25, the rate increased from 19.4% in 2001 to 22.1% in 2002. The young adult rate had been 6.8% in 1992. In 2002, Monitoring the Future added new questions on non-medical use of Vicodin and Oxycontin. In both 2002 and 2003, past year use of Oxycontin by 12th graders has been about 4% while past yr use of Vicodin has been about 10% raising concern about prescription opioid abuse among youth. NSDUH data indicate that lifetime nonmedical use of stimulants increased steadily from 1990 to 2002 for youths aged 12 to 17 (0.7 to 4.3%). For young adults aged 18 to 25, rates declined from 1981 to 1994 (from 10.9 to 5.9%), then increased to 10.8 % in 2002. Rates increased between 2001 and 2002 for both youths (3.8 to 4.3%) and young adults (10.2 to 10.8%).

NIDA has recently funded a number of investigators who are examining prescription drug abuse by adolescents and college students. This symposium will present early findings from their studies that may shed light on possible strategies for developing prevention interventions.


THE SOCIAL CONTEXT OF COLLEGIATE PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE. Gilbert Quintero1, Jeffrey Peterson1, Bonnie Young1, 1University of New Mexico/Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, NM United States

Although prescription drug abuse is not a new problem newly emerging trends have brought about increased attention to this issue. Surveillance data point to a dramatic increase in prescription drug abuse in recent years, especially among young adults. College students are often at the leading edge of changes in drug use and as such may be crucial to understanding these new trends. This paper, based on a qualitative study of collegiate prescription drug abuse, identifies some of the social and cultural factors related to prescription drug use among college youth that may, in part, help to explain these patterns. These factors include attitudes regarding the social acceptability of prescription drug abuse, perceptions that prescription drug abuse is a less risky alternative to other drug use, and the utility of prescription drugs in meeting the social roles and academic demands associated with young adulthood and college life.

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