Background: We tested the dual pathway hypothesis to substance use which posits that substance use can develop via internalizing symptoms or deviant behaviors.
Method: Using data from the Add Health study, we used latent class analysis to define subgroups based on patterns of substance use, and logistic regression procedures to evaluate the prospective association between symptoms of depression, deviance, and the individual substance use patterns.
Results: Groups representing similar patterns of substance use were identified in both adolescence and young adulthood. Some support for the dual pathway hypothesis was demonstrated. Deviance was prospectively associated with substance group assignment in both adolescence and young adulthood, while depression uniquely predicted assignment to the smoking group in young adulthood among females.
Conclusions: Further testing of the dual pathway hypothesis should be built on diverse pattern-centered approaches able to explore the presence of population subgroups.