Adolescent Marihuana Use: Role of Parents and Peers

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Science  14 Sep 1973:
Vol. 181, Issue 4104, pp. 1067-1070
DOI: 10.1126/science.181.4104.1067


In order to examine the relative influence of parents and peers on marihuana use among adolescents, independent data have been obtained from adolescents, their parents, and their best school friends in a sample of secondary school students in New York State. The data indicate that drug use by peers exerts a greater influence than drug use by parents. Friends are more similar in their use of marihuana than in any other activity or attitude. Parental use of psychotropic drugs has only a small influence, mostly related to maternal use. Peer and parental influences are synergistic; the highest rates of marihuana usage are observed among adolescents whose parents and friends are drug users.