Risky substance use and peer pressure in Swiss young men: Test of moderation effects

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 Nov 1;168:89-98. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.08.633. Epub 2016 Sep 1.

Abstract

Background: Peer pressure (PP) toward misconduct is a well-known risk factor for substance use. However, the way it interacts with social factors and the associations of the aspects of PP other than PP toward misconduct have been understudied. This study examined the associations of three aspects of PP with risky substance use and tested whether the associations of PP toward misconduct were moderated by social factors.

Method: A representative sample of 5,680 young Swiss males completed a questionnaire assessing risky alcohol, cigarette, and cannabis use, PP toward misconduct, toward peer involvement, and toward peer conformity, as well as social support (SS) and neighbourhood cohesion. Multinomial logistic regression models were used.

Results: PP toward misconduct was positively associated with all substance use outcomes. The PP toward misconduct-risky alcohol use association was stronger in individuals reporting high than in those reporting low levels of PP toward peer involvement, SS, and neighbourhood cohesion. The PP toward misconduct-risky cannabis use association was stronger in individuals reporting high than in those reporting low levels of SS and neighbourhood cohesion. The PP toward misconduct-smoking association was stronger in individuals reporting high than in those reporting low levels of PP toward peer involvement.

Conclusions: The risk for substance use associated with PP toward misconduct varies as a function of social factors. Being well connected with others (high level of PP toward peer involvement and SS), and living in a cohesive neighbourhood may amplify the risk for risky substance use associated with PP toward misconduct.

Keywords: Cohort study on substance use risk factors (C-SURF); Moderation; Peer pressure; Risky substance use; Switzerland; Young men.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Smoking / psychology*
  • Peer Group
  • Peer Influence*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Smoking / psychology*
  • Social Conformity*
  • Social Support*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Switzerland
  • Young Adult