This paper reports on the findings from a longitudinal survey of the drug use behaviours of young people who were attending Emotional and Behavioural Difficulty (EBD) units from the age of 11-16 years. It forms part of the Belfast Youth Development Study, a longitudinal study of adolescent drug use. This paper presents a follow-up report to a cross-sectional paper that reported on drug use behaviours of a sample of young people attending EBD units when aged 12/13 years at school year 9 (McCrystal et al 2005a). In the present paper reported drug use and behaviours associated with increased risk of its use between the ages of 11-16 years were examined. The findings show that those attending EBD Units consistently reported higher levels of licit and illicit drug use throughout adolescence. Compared with young people in mainstream school, higher levels of behaviours associated with drug use including antisocial behaviour, disaffection with school, and poor communication with their parents/guardians were noted. These findings have implications for the development and timing of targeted prevention initiatives for young people attending EBD units at all stages of adolescent development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health