Child maltreatment, Fathers, and Adolescent Substance Use 

Project Summary

A solid body of research has suggested that child maltreatment and father structural risk factors (e.g., father absence, non-biological father in the home, instability in resident father) are related to increased use of substances in adolescence. However, little is known about whether and how child maltreatment and father structural risk factors at different developmental stages have differential influence in shaping patterns of adolescent substance use trajectories. To fill these important gaps in the current knowledge base, a secondary analysis will be conducted using data from the Longitudinal Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (LONGSCAN.

 

This research has three specific aims: (1) to examine how child maltreatment at three developmental stages (i.e., early childhood [ages 0-5], middle childhood [ages 6-11], adolescence [ages 12-18]) is associated with patterns of adolescent substance use trajectories; (2) to examine how father structural factors at three development stages are associated with patterns of adolescent substance use trajectories; and (3) to test whether the quality of parent-child relationship moderates the effects of child maltreatment and father structural factors on patterns of adolescent substance use trajectories. Findings from this project offer guidance for the development of more targeted and well-timed prevention and intervention strategies to curb adolescent substance use. 

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