Alcohol use and nicotine use were investigated in a representative sample of 1110 study participants aged 10 to 17 years. In addition to questions on substance use, the participants responded to questionnaires covering behavior and emotions, life events, self-related cognitions, coping capacities, perceived parental behavior, perceived school environment, and the social network. The gender gap in substance used tended to close with increasing age. Parental substance use served as a model for substance use in the participants. Substance users had more abnormal scores on almost all variables as compared to abstaining controls. Lack of acceptance and control, pressure to achieve at school, and life events significantly predicted substance use. The latter served as a moderating risk variable for delinquent behavior under stress.