Marijuana use among the adolescent children of high-risk drug-abusing fathers

David W. Brook, Judith S. Brook, Linda Richter, Martin Whiteman, Orlando Arencibia-Mireles, Joseph R. Masci

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19 Scopus citations


This study examines marijuana use among children of male drug abusers. Subjects were 83 African-American and European-American male drug abusers, of whom the majority were injection drug users, and their children. Third-one of the fathers were HIV-positive and 52 were HIV-negative. Using logistic regression analyses, we explored cross-sectionally the relationship between four psyhosocial domains (ie, paternal attributes, adolescent problem behaviors, father-adolescent relations, and environment) and adolescent marijuana use. The father's use of illegal drugs and his failure to cope adaptively predicted adolescent marijuana use, while a close father-child bond predicted less adolescent marijuana use. Adolescent problem behaviors predicted an increased likelihood of marijuana use. Furthermore, hierarchical regression analysis demonstrated that the adolescent's problem behavior mediated the associations between both the father-adolescent relationship and environmental factors with adolescent marijuana use. Reducing the risk factors and enhancing the protective factors within each of the domains could help reduce marijuana use among the adolescent children of drug-abusing fathers. Moreover, if a father is a drug abuser, it is important to help him establish a close bond with his child in order to help attenuate the influence of his drug use on the childs marijuana use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-110
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


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