North American Indigenous adolescent substance use

Melissa Walls, Kelley J. Sittner Hartshorn, Les B. Whitbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objectives: To investigate growth in problem drinking and monthly marijuana use among North American Indigenous adolescents from the upper Midwest and Canada. Methods: Panel data from a community-based participatory research project includes responses from 619 adolescents residing on or near 7 different reservations/reserves. All respondents were members of the same Indigenous cultural group. Results: Rates of problem drinking and monthly marijuana use increased steadily across the adolescent years, with fastest growth occurring in early adolescence (before age 15). In general, female participants reported higher rates of substance use prior to age 15; however, male reports of use surpassed those of females in later adolescence. Conclusions: Results of this study highlight the importance of early adolescent substance use prevention efforts and the possible utility of gender responsive programming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2103-2109
Number of pages7
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent substance use
  • American Indian
  • First Nations
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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