This study examined the association of Sensation Seeking and symptoms of Disruptive Disorders and investigated the associations of each with the risk of nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana use in 11- to 14-yr.-old boys and girls from psychiatric and pediatric clinics (n = 206). Sensation Seeking and symptoms of Disruptive Disorder were significantly related, and both were associated with drug use. In particular, Sensation Seeking was strongly associated with drug use in early and mid-adolescents seen in a clinical setting. Measurement of Sensation Seeking and symptoms of Disruptive Disorder should help identify and characterize youth who are at increased risk for drug use during early and mid-adolescence - a time when onset of use may be a harbinger of long-term habit.
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