Childhood ADHD Symptoms and Future Illicit Drug Use: The Role of Adolescent Cigarette Use.
Objectives: The aim of this study is to understand how early cigarette use might predict subsequent illicit drug use, especially among individuals with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms during childhood. Methods: Data were drawn from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Waves I-IV). The analysis sample involves participants who had not used illicit drugs at Wave I, with no missing responses for studied predictors (N = 7,332). Results: Smoking status at Wave I (ever regular vs. never regular) and childhood ADHD symptoms predicted subsequent illicit drug use at Waves II to IV. No interaction effect of smoking status at Wave I and childhood ADHD symptoms was found. However, an indirect effect from childhood ADHD symptoms on illicit drug use was identified, through smoking status at Wave I. Similar results were observed for predicting illicit drug dependence. Conclusions: The findings support the notion that smoking status during early adolescence may mediate the association between childhood ADHD symptoms and risk of later adult drug use. Interventions to prevent smoking among adolescents may be particularly effective at decreasing subsequent drug use, especially among children with ADHD symptoms.
Lee, C-T; McClernon, FJ; Kollins, SH; Fuemmeler, BF
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