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Journal of Early Adolescence


The study explores how differences in rural community contexts relate to early adolescent alcohol use. Data were gathered from 1,424 adolescents in the sixth through eighth grades in 22 rural Northern Plains communities, as well as 790 adults, parents, teachers, and community leaders. Multilevel modeling analyses revealed that community supportiveness, as perceived by adolescents, but not adults, was associated with less lifetime and past month alcohol use, and for past month use, this relationship was stronger than perceived peer drinking or parental closeness. Perceived peer drinking and parental closeness were not associated with past month use. Adolescents experiencing family economic strain did not report greater lifetime or past month use, but living in a disadvantaged community was associated with greater past month use. Relatively affluent adolescents reported greater past month use when living in a poor community than did poorer adolescents, highlighting relationship complexity between economic disadvantage and alcohol use. © The Author(s) 2010.

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Psychology Commons



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