The positive impact of family relationships and religious affiliation could bring down the risk of teenagers getting involved with drugs, states a new study.
"Healthy relationships protect adolescents against exposure to violence and negative social environments, and therefore, may lower their risk for drug involvement," said ManSoo Yu, assistant professor in the MU School of Social Work and Public Health Program.
"Practitioners also can encourage adolescents to connect with religious organizations, which can reduce negative peer influence and increase positive family relationships," Yu added.
Yu found that positive family relationships mediated the impact of addicted family members, violence victimization and negative school environment on illicit drug symptoms.
Religious affiliation mediated the impact of deviant peers and negative school environment on positive family relationships.
"It is clear that strategies to help youths with drug problems can be more effective by addressing family, school and peer contexts," Yu said.
The study was published in the July issue of Addictive Behaviours.