The Relationship Between Youth Perceptions Family Functioning and Substance USe Among Adolescents Who Reside in a Youth Shelter


Drugs are a highly dangerous and popular form of "'escape" for many teenagers who become involved, and yet they do not have the developed coping skills to handle the problems that result from drug use. While drugs are psychologically and/or physically addicting, the "high" that many drug users feel is so euphoric, that they do not care about the repercussions of their drug use. Some short and long-term consequences from drug use can include diminished relationships, lower cognitive skills, decreased motivation, addiction, and often death. Much of the research has explored the factors that influence drug use among adolescents and some have identified family variables such as communication, rejection, monitoring, family functioning, and family cohesion. Using a family perceptions scale, this research study explored further the relationship between substance abuse and the perceptions that adolescents have about their families. Specifically, the study examined the overall perceptions that adolescents have about their family functioning. By studying how adolescent youth in a shelter perceive their family functioning, the researcher hopes to provide additional information to youth shelter staff and other professionals responsible for developing and implementing interventions for addressing the drug use and family problems presented by shelter youth. This additional information could answer the questions that have been raised about the different family structures and variables associated with the increasing rate of drug use in adolescents. This specific study did find one statistical relationship between youths' that live with single fathers and their alcohol use. The data did show clinical significance about communication, involvement, family functioning, and substance use, but no statistical significance was found between these particular variables.


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Thesis Completion





Leon, Ana M.


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Health and Public Affairs

Degree Program

Social Work


Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs; Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic; Substance abuse -- Patients -- Family relationships; Teenagers -- Drug use







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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