Depression and substance use in two divergent high school cultures: A quantitative and qualitative analysis

Niobe Way, Helena Y. Stauber, Michael J. Nakkula, Perry London

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Research has generally concluded that adolescent depression and substance use are strongly interrelated, but has rarely considered how this relationship may vary across diverse populations. In this study, we used quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the relationships among depression and cigarette, alcohol, marijuana, and harder drug use across two culturally disparate environments: a suburban and an inner-city high school. Our sample included 164 suburban and 242 inner-city high school students. The students completed Kovacs' Children's Depression Inventory of 1985 and substance use measures derived from various sources. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with subjects who scored in the top 10% of the CDI (N=19) from both schools. Our quantitative findings indicated a positive association between depression and cigarette, marijuana, and harder drug use among the suburban students, and no association between depression and the use of any substances for the urban students. There were no significant differences in levels of reported depression across samples. However, with the exception of marijuana use, suburban students reported greater involvement in substance use than urban students. Our qualitative analyses suggest that across-school differences in the relationships among depression and substance use may be related to the varied meanings of depression and substance use that are informed by cultural context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-357
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1994

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school culture
Students
Cannabis
Tobacco Products
student
school
drug use
Pharmaceutical Preparations
quantitative method
Alcohols
qualitative method
Interviews
Equipment and Supplies
alcohol
adolescent
Research
Population
interview

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Depression and substance use in two divergent high school cultures : A quantitative and qualitative analysis. / Way, Niobe; Stauber, Helena Y.; Nakkula, Michael J.; London, Perry.

In: Journal of Youth and Adolescence, Vol. 23, No. 3, 06.1994, p. 331-357.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Way, Niobe ; Stauber, Helena Y. ; Nakkula, Michael J. ; London, Perry. / Depression and substance use in two divergent high school cultures : A quantitative and qualitative analysis. In: Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 1994 ; Vol. 23, No. 3. pp. 331-357.
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