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Is parental socio-economic status related to the initiation of substance abuse by young people in an English city? An event history analysis


  • Sutherland, Alex


This paper aims to examine the relationship between parental socio-economic status (SES) and adolescent substance use. The central question posed in the title is approached in two stages. First, theoretical and empirical research in this area is reviewed. Second, data from an ongoing longitudinal study of young people in England (the Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study – PADS+) are used to highlight the nature of this relationship in one city. Results from discrete-time event history analyses show that when examining what predicts initiation of substance use, familial and demographic factors emerge as important predictors, but SES does not appear to be relevant. The concluding discussion focuses on whether support is found for hypotheses derived from the existing literature and implications for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Sutherland, Alex, 2012. "Is parental socio-economic status related to the initiation of substance abuse by young people in an English city? An event history analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(7), pages 1053-1061.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:74:y:2012:i:7:p:1053-1061
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.12.026

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Singh-Manoux, Archana & Marmot, Michael, 2005. "Role of socialization in explaining social inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(9), pages 2129-2133, May.
    2. Stephen Pudney, 2004. "Keeping off the grass? An econometric model of cannabis consumption in Britain," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 435-453.
    3. Maria del Carmen Huerta & Francesca Borgonovi, 2010. "Education, Alcohol Use and Abuse Among Young Adults in Britain," OECD Education Working Papers 50, OECD Publishing.
    4. Miech, Richard & Chilcoat, Howard, 2005. "Maternal education and adolescent drug use: a longitudinal analysis of causation and selection over a generation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 725-735, February.
    5. Michell, Lynn & Amos, Amanda, 1997. "Girls, pecking order and smoking," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(12), pages 1861-1869, June.
    6. Laura Blow & Andrew Leicester & Frank Windmeijer, 2005. "Parental income and children's smoking behaviour: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," IFS Working Papers W05/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    7. Huerta, Maria C. & Borgonovi, Francesca, 2010. "Education, alcohol use and abuse among young adults in Britain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 143-151, July.
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2001:91:2:225-232_9 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Pavic Simetin, Ivana & Kern, Josipa & Kuzman, Marina & Pförtner, Timo-Kolja, 2013. "Inequalities in Croatian pupils' risk behaviors associated to socioeconomic environment at school and area level: A multilevel approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 154-161.


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