Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 70198
School-Related Variables and Adolescents Substance Use

Authors: Nicolas Meylan, Eric Tardif

Abstract:

Many studies have highlighted the links between substance use and school difficulties. However, most of these studies address only the consumption in terms of frequency without considering the different types of behavior (use, abuse, dependence). Moreover, little is known about the associations between substance use and variables such as school engagement and school burnout recently described as a positive state of mind and an exhaustion syndrome related to school, respectively. Through this study, we wish to describe and compare school-related variables in adolescents with different type of substance use. Our study focuses on 402 Swiss adolescents, aged between 14 and 19 years old. They responded collectively and anonymously to a set of scales assessing substance use and several school variables (social support, stress, burnout, engagement and school climate). First, results on frequency and severity of substance use are relatively close to those observed in other studies. Second, it also appears that certain dimensions of stress, burnout, engagement and school climate are associated with the frequency of alcohol and cannabis consumption. Finally, adolescents’ substance abusers show particularly high scores of burnout, cynicism and stress related to workload, which can be understand as self-medication behavior. Additional analyzes are underway to clarify these associations. Results are discussed in terms of implications for research and clinical practice in academic burnout.

Keywords: school burnout, school engagement, adolescence, substance use, self-medication

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