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Rural adolescent alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use: a comparison of students in Victoria, Australia, and Washington State, United States

journal contribution
posted on 2011-01-01, 00:00 authored by Kerri CoomberKerri Coomber, John ToumbourouJohn Toumbourou, Peter MillerPeter Miller, Petra StaigerPetra Staiger, Sheryl Hemphill, R Catalano
Purpose: There are inconsistent research findings regarding the impact of rurality on adolescent alcohol, tobacco, and illicit substance use. Therefore, the current study reports on the effect of rurality on alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use among adolescents in 2 state representative samples in 2 countries, Washington State (WA) in the United States and Victoria (VIC) in Australia.
Participants: The International Youth Development Study (IYDS) recruited representative samples of students from Grade 7 (aged 12 to 13 years) and Grade 9 (aged 14 to 15) in both states. A total of 3,729 students responded to questions about alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, and other illicit substance use VIC = 1,852; WA = 1,877). In each state, males and females were equally represented and ages ranged from 12 to 15 years.Methods: Data were analyzed to compare lifetime and current (past 30 days) substance use for students located in census areas classified as urban, large or small town, and rural. Findings were adjusted for school clustering andweighted to compare prevalence at median age 14 years. Findings: Rates of lifetime and current alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis use were significantly higher in rural compared to urban students in both states (odds ratio for current substance use = 1.31). Conclusions: In both Washington State and Victoria, early adolescent rural students use substances more frequently than their urban counterparts. Future studies should examine factors that place rural adolescents at risk for alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use.

History

Journal

Journal of rural health

Volume

27

Issue

4

Season

Autumn

Pagination

409 - 415

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing

Location

Hoboken, N.J.

ISSN

0890-765X

eISSN

1748-0361

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, National Rural Health Association