Substance use in maltreated youth: findings from the national survey of child and adolescent well-being

Child Maltreat. 2007 Feb;12(1):20-30. doi: 10.1177/1077559506296316.


The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics associated with different levels of substance use in a national probability sample of maltreated 11- to 15-year-olds (n = 1,179). Bivariate (chi-square tests) and multivariate (logistic regression) analyses were used to examine the association of adolescent substance use with demographics, placement type, and youth and family characteristics. Seventy-one percent of youth reported no use, 20% reported low levels of substance use, and approximately 9% reported moderate to high levels of use. Youth substance use was similar across placement types. Conduct problems and low caregiver relatedness were more prevalent for youth reporting higher levels of substance use. High levels of conduct problems increased the odds of substance use, whereas high caregiver monitoring decreased the odds of substance use. Caregiver monitoring may be a key tactic in attempts to reduce the likelihood of substance use in maltreated youth, regardless of placement type.

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • United States / epidemiology