A meta-analysis of the association between substance use and emerging adult development using the IDEA scale

Jordan P. Davis, Tara M. Dumas, Daniel A. Briley, Steve Sussman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Much debate exists surrounding Arnett's theory of emerging adulthood in terms of its breadth and application. Researchers have attempted to capture dimensions of emerging adulthood (eg, experimentation, negativity/instability, other-focus, self-focus, and feeling in-between) through self report assessment, using variations of the Inventory of the Dimensions of Emerging Adulthood or IDEA. Results from studies investigating this relationship have been mixed. We conducted a meta-analysis on the association between substance use and the IDEA. Method: Data were extracted to calculate correlational associations with substance use as well as typical moderators found in the literature. Twelve studies were meta-analyzed. Results: We found small associations (range: ρ = −.03 to.15; d =.06 to 30) between the IDEA scores and substance use. We found higher severity (dependence diagnosis) of participants yielded larger associations across all dimensions (ρ =.16), and proportion of college students to be a subscale-specific moderator (experimentation, negativity/instability, other-focus, self-focus, and feeling in-between). Alcohol use outcomes also provided larger subscale-specific associations (experimentation, negativity/instability, other-focus, self-focus). Conclusions: The dimensions of emerging adulthood may be less effective in predicting substance use among non-college samples and those studies focusing on drug use. Further research should prioritize exploring variation in the transition to emerging adulthood among non-college samples and the longitudinal associations between IDEA and substance use. Scientific Significance: Important contributions include the modest association between IDEA and substance use as well as specific participant characteristics that amplify or mitigate the association between IDEA and substance use. (Am J Addict 2018;27:166–176).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-176
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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