Community Risk and Protective Factors and Adolescent Substance Use

Scott P. Hays, Carol E. Hays, Peter F. Mulhall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper researches the impact of the contextual characteristics of the community on self-reported 8th grade ATOD use. The study addresses a criticism of past research by relying on objective measures of community contextual characteristics and aggregated data from self-reported, individual substance use surveys. By analyzing 40 counties in the state of Illinois, we test the results of multivariate models for youth use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. Results indicate that community disorganization is an important risk factor for ATOD use while family supports is an important protective factor. Contrary to expectations, greater economic constraints decreases, rather than increases, substance use. Findings regarding the other variables were mixed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-142
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Primary Prevention
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • "ATOD"
  • Community
  • Illinois
  • Prevention
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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