A contextual model of adolescent alcohol use across the rural-urban continuum

Subst Use Misuse. Mar-Apr 1999;34(4-5):495-519. doi: 10.3109/10826089909037228.


In the research presented here, we develop and test with respondents from a broad range of contexts a multilevel social control model of adolescent substance use, integrating macro- and microsociological and criminological perspectives. Specifically, this research examines the individual-level social control processes or mechanisms thought to lead to alcohol use embedded in school contexts in different community settings along the rural-urban continuum. In this way we determine 1) the main effects of individual- and contextual school-level variables and 2) the conditioning or moderating influences of school climate on individual alcohol use and on individual-level processes leading to alcohol use. Furthermore, given that our sample contains students from a broad range of settings along the rural-urban continuum, our findings address the appropriateness of conceptualizing rural and urban drug use and their respective etiologies as dichotomous. In this respect our findings suggest that heterogeneity in drug use exists within rural school settings as well as within urban school settings, and that examining rural drug use as separate from urban drug use is not justified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Child
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Group Processes
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Juvenile Delinquency / classification
  • Juvenile Delinquency / statistics & numerical data
  • Kentucky / epidemiology
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Organizational Culture
  • Rural Health
  • Sampling Studies
  • Schools / standards*
  • Social Control, Informal*
  • Social Environment*
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Urban Health