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Application of social control theory to examine parent, teacher, and close friend attachment ...

Application of social control theory to examine parent, teacher, and close friend attachment and substance use initiation among Korean Youth


Yoonsun HanㅣSungkyunkwan University

Heejoo KimㅣSungkyunkwan University

DongHun Lee ㅣSungkyunkwan University


Abstract

Based on Hirschi’s social control theory (1969), this study examined the relationship between attachment (an element of social bonds) and the onset of substance use among South Korean adolescents. Using discrete-time logistic regression, the study investi- gated how attachment to parents, teachers, and close friends was associated with the timing of first alcohol and cigarette use. A nationally representative sample of Korean youth from five waves of the Korea Youth Panel Survey (N1⁄43,449 at baseline) was studied. Higher levels of parent and teacher attachment were associated with delayed onset of alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking. Attachment to close friends, however, was associated with earlier onset of substance use. These findings suggest that strategies for early substance use prevention should specifically target the relation- ships that youth develop with parents and teachers. Furthermore, the results highlight the importance of managing youth’s relationships with close friends to prevent the inadvertent negative social influence of particular types of peers.


Keywords

adolescents, alcohol drinking initiation, attachment, cigarette smoking initiation, Korea, social bonds, social control theory, substance use


School Psychology International 2016, Vol. 37(4) 340–358