Parental perceptions linked to opioid misuse among justice-involved children

Tyler O Riley, Micah E Johnson
Children and Youth Services Review 2020, 116
Justice-involved children (JIC) are a subset of at-risk youth highly susceptible to the ill-consequences of opioid misuse (OM), especially for younger JIC. Parental practices and attitudes towards delinquency are known to influence a child's behavior, however the relationship between parental attitudes towards youth delinquent behavior and odds of OM has yet to be investigated. The current study used a sample from the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (age 10-18; M=14; n=79,960) to investigate how parental attitudes towards youth delinquent behavior influence the likelihood JIC meet criteria for past-30 day (P30D) OM. P30D OM was verified utilizing urinalysis. Youth with parents expressing proud or accepting attitudes towards youth delinquent behavior were roughly twice as likely to meet criteria for P30D OM as those with parents expressing disapproving attitudes. This relationship varied by age, with younger ages experiencing the greatest risk. These findings support early intervention efforts to develop prosocial attitudes in youth and their parents.

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