Psychiatric disorders associated with substance use among children and adolescents: findings from the Methods for the Epidemiology of Child and Adolescent Mental Disorders (MECA) Study

J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1997 Apr;25(2):121-32. doi: 10.1023/a:1025779412167.


The relationships between specific quantities and frequencies of alcohol, cigarette, and illicit substance use and substance use (SUD) and other psychiatric disorders were investigated among 1,285 randomly selected children and adolescents, aged 9 to 18, and their parents, from the Methods for the Epidemiology of Child and Adolescent Mental Disorders (MECA) Study. Logistic regressions indicated that daily cigarette smoking, weekly alcohol consumption, and any illicit substance use in the past year were each independently associated with an elevated likelihood of diagnosis with SUD and other psychiatric disorders (anxiety, mood, or disruptive behavior disorders), controlling for sociodemographic characteristics (age, gender, ethnicity, family income). The associations between the use of specific substances and specific psychiatric disorders varied as a function of gender.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / epidemiology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Personality Assessment
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Illicit Drugs