Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Smart, Laura S.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Human and Family Resources


Families; Adolescent psychology; Substance abuse


The purpose of this study was to test differences in substance use of adolescents by family functioning, family structure, and gender. Three hundred thirty- seven freshmen from a small city in Northern Illinois completed a 73-item questionnaire consisting of questions on demographics, the students’ use of drugs and alcohol, and the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACES II). Findings indicate that adolescents from the least well-functioning families use more stimulants and psychedelics. Furthermore, adolescents from non-intact families reported greater use of marijuana than those from intact families. Finally, male adolescents tended to use more drugs than females, although in most cases the differences did not reach significance. The discussion focuses on how the present findings support or contradict previous results on drug use and family functioning, family structure, and gender. Suggestions for future research include an evaluation of the FACES instrument for use with different family structures.


v, 57 pages




Northern Illinois University

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