The Influence of Supervisory Neglect on Subtypes of Emerging Adult Substance Use after Controlling for Familial Factors, Relationship Status, and Individual Traits

Susan M. Snyder, Darcey H. Merritt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study is the first to explore how child supervisory neglect influences patterns of substance use among young adults. This study investigated patterns of substance use among males and females, 18 to 24 years old, after controlling for adolescent parental drinking, living with parents, relationship status, delinquency, and depression. Methods: The study sample (N = 10,618) included individuals who participated in Waves I (1994-1995) and III (2001-2002) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The study used latent class analysis to ascertain how patterns of substance use emerged as distinct classes. Results: For both males and females, we identified the following 4 classes of substance use: (1) heavy polysubstance use, (2) moderate polysubstance use, (3) alcohol and marijuana, and (4) low-use substance use patterns. Multinomial logistic regression indicated that, for both males and females 18 to 24 years old, experiencing supervisory neglect, being depressed, being single, and engaging in adolescent delinquency serve as risk factors for heavy polysubstance use class membership. Conversely, being black or Hispanic lowered the likelihood of polysubstance use for males and females. For females only, living with parents served as a protective factor that reduced the risk of membership in heavy polysubstance use, moderate polysubstance use, and alcohol and marijuana classes. For males only, being less educated increased the risk of heavy polysubstance use class membership. Conclusions: Results from this exploratory study underscore the enduring effect of supervisory neglect on substance use among male and female young adults. Future studies should explore whether these relationships hold over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-514
Number of pages8
JournalSubstance Abuse
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015



  • Latent class analysis
  • substance use
  • supervisory neglect
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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