Family predictors of adolescent substance use: the case of high school students in the Cape Metropolitan area, Cape Town, South Africa
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Family predictors of tobacco and alcohol use were studied in random samples of school-going Black, Coloured, and White adolescents (total N=1,800) in the Cape Town Metropolitan Area. The subjects ranged in age from 14 to 17 years, with a mean age of 15.95 years. Logistic regression analysis of the data showed invariance across the three racial groups in terms of the specific family variables that were predictive, as well as their direction and magnitude of association with substance use. Essentially, higher rates of substance use for all three groups were predicted by parental behavioural control, parental monitoring/knowledge and limit setting, marital relations and family stress. The findings extend the work on South African adolescent substance use by providing a view into the proximal (family) socialising forces that are related to substance use. The findings also extend the broader work on identifying specialised effects of dimensions of socialisation on adolescent functioning. The discussion section includes commentary on the cultural invariance found when measuring socialising forces at this level of generality.