Existing empirical evidence on substance use among young people living in residential state care during adolescence is comparatively limited. This paper reports on substance use trends of young people living in residential state care during three annual data-sweeps when aged 14, 15 and 16 years. A repeated cross-sectional research design was utilised in the research. The findings suggest some similarities for lifetime prevalence rates for tobacco and alcohol use for those living in residential state care with a group of same-age young people not living in residential state care who participated in the research. However, solvent abuse and cannabis use was higher among those living in care. More frequent substance use was reported by the residential care sample for all substances at each stage of the study. These findings suggest that young people living in state care continue to merit higher levels of vigilance from researchers and policy-makers in order to fully understand this behaviour and develop appropriate prevention initiatives to meet their needs regarding potential drug problems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Community and Home Care
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Health(social science)