Sequential progression of substance use among homeless youth: An empirical investigation of the gateway theory

Joshua Aaron Ginzler, Bryan N. Cochran, Melanie Domenech-Rodríguez, Ana Mari Cauce, Leslie B. Whitbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the sequence of substance-use initiation in 375 street youth (age 13-21) who were interviewed from 1994-99 in Seattle, Washington. Based on the "gateway theory," participants were categorized into six profiles to describe the order in which they initiated use of various substances (i.e., alcohol, marijuana, other drugs), or classified as nonprogressors if they had not tried all three classes of drugs. Youth progressing in the hypothesized gateway order (i.e., alcohol preceding marijuana, followed by other drugs) initiated their use at an earlier age than youth who had not progressed through all three substance classes. However, there was no relationship between a substance initiation profile and current substance-use. Implications include the recognition that street youth may follow different patterns of use than normative groups, and that interventions geared toward youth who use substances heavily must include contextual factors, in addition to substance-use history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-758
Number of pages34
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume38
Issue number3-6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Development
  • Drug use
  • Gateway theory
  • Homelessness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sequential progression of substance use among homeless youth: An empirical investigation of the gateway theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this