Discriminant analyzes for the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs among adolescents in an urban center in southern Brazil
Keywords:Adolescents, use of drugs, family, discriminant analysis
Introduction: The consumption of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs is a problem in adolescence, especially in the school context. This study aimed to identify the demographic and social variables that distinguished the students who had used tobacco, alcohol and/or other drugs at some point of their lives from those who had never used these substances.
Methods: A school-based cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate students attending the ninth year of elementary education in the city of Caxias do Sul (n = 1,285).
Results: Alcohol was the most consumed drug (74.9%). In all the three discriminant profiles, adolescents who used tobacco throughout their lives presented more family conflict and hierarchy, higher age, greater difficulty in talking to their mother, father, and siblings, and higher school failure rates. The group that reported lifetime use of alcohol showed similar characteristics, and also reported greater loneliness. The group that has used illicit drugs was characterized, as well as other factors, by meeting with friends outside school more often, not having a good friend, being lonely, and having difficulties in talking to their father.
Conclusion: Several social and family-related aspects can act as factors that propitiate adolescents from drugs. Public policies in this regard are of fundamental importance.
Keywords: Adolescents; use of drugs; family; discriminant analysis
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