Sensation seeking needs among 8th and 11th graders: characteristics associated with cigarette and marijuana use

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2001 May 1;62(3):195-203. doi: 10.1016/s0376-8716(00)00170-8.


This cross-sectional school-based study explored the relationship between adolescent use of cigarettes and marijuana and the sensation seeking personality factors of (1) Disinhibition and (2) Thrill and Adventure Seeking. The study population included a representative sample of both male and female 8th and 11th graders in the state of Delaware. Analytic methods utilized included correlational analysis and multivariate logistic regression. In the multivariate logistic regression models, the Disinhibition personality factor accounted for cigarette and marijuana using behaviors with odds ratios ranging between 2 and 3. Thrill and Adventure Seeking was not a significant explanatory variable in any of the final multivariate models. Potential confounders (age, gender and race) were considered in all analyses. Of all the two-way interactions assessed, none was significant. The findings from this study utilizing a large general community sample indicate that sensation seeking needs are a potential risk factor for adolescent substance use.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exploratory Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Marijuana Smoking / psychology*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Students / psychology*