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09-09-2017 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 5/2018

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 5/2018

The Role of Sensation Seeking and R-rated Movie Watching in Early Substance Use Initiation

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 5/2018
Tim Janssen, Melissa J. Cox, Mike Stoolmiller, Nancy P. Barnett, Kristina M. Jackson


Adolescence is a time of heightened impulsivity as well as substantial exposure to the effects of popular media. Specifically, R-rated movie content and sensation seeking have been shown to be individually and multiplicatively associated with early alcohol initiation, as well as to mutually influence one another over time. The present study attempts to replicate and extend these findings to cigarette and marijuana use, considering several peer, parental, and individual correlates, as well as substance-specific movie exposure, among 1023 youth (mean age 12.4 years, 52% female), using a combination of cross-lagged path models, latent growth models, and discrete-time survival models. Changes over time were associated between R-rated movie watching and sensation seeking, and both individually, not multiplicatively, predicted earlier alcohol initiation. R-rated movie watching (but not sensation seeking) also predicted earlier smoking and marijuana initiation. Parental R-rated movie restriction may thus potentially delay smoking and marijuana initiation as well as adolescent drinking.

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