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The main purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between deviant high school behavior and substance use, as limited to alcohol and cigarette use. Deviant behavior as analyzed was defined by symptoms of conduct disorder and alcohol and cigarette use was limited to the past 30 days of the individual’s college career. The Conduct Disorder (CD) symptoms queried in the survey included setting fires, fights and things of that nature. Deviant behavior sum scores were created based on a pattern of related behaviors and the frequency at which each occurred. Data from 2022 VCU freshman who completed the Spit for Science survey were included in the study. The sample was also limited to age groups between 18 and 21. This is a longitudinal survey based on continuous variables. Our results displayed a positive correlation (r=0.231) between deviant high school behavior and frequency of alcohol consumption which was statistically significant (p<0.05). There was also a positive correlation (r=.219) between deviant high school behavior and frequency of cigarette use which was also statistically significant (p<0.05). The results showed a significant relationship between deviant high school behavior and substance use. The prevalence of deviant behavior in high school students may serve as an indicator of patterns of substance use in these individuals in college. This could serve as an effective targeting method in preventive interventions.
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Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
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