Prescription Stimulant Misuse and Risk Correlates among Racially-Diverse Urban Adolescents

Patricia A. Goodhines, Lea E. Taylor, Michelle J. Zaso, Kevin M. Antshel, Aesoon Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Most research on prescription stimulant misuse has focused on college students, and research on high school-aged adolescents is limited. Objectives: This study aimed to characterize risk correlates of prescription stimulant misuse among a racially-diverse and socioeconomically-disadvantaged sample of urban adolescents. Method: Cross-sectional data were drawn from an ongoing study of adolescent health behaviors, Project Teen. Participants were 414 9th to 11th graders (M age=16.00 [SD = 1.08]; 57% female; 41% Black or African American, 22% White, 18% Asian, 17% Multiracial, 2% Pacific Islander, and 1% Native American; 12% Hispanic/Latinx). Participants completed a web-based survey assessing prescription stimulant misuse, demographics, mental health and personality, social environment, and substance use. Results: Eight percent of participants endorsed past-year prescription stimulant misuse. Compared to non-misusing peers, participants endorsing past-year prescription stimulant misuse reported greater depression/anxiety symptoms, sensation seeking, perceived peer risk behavior, and alcohol and cigarette use, as well as a lower level of parental monitoring; null group differences were observed for academic goal orientation, perceived peer approval of risk behavior, and cannabis use. Binary logistic regression demonstrated that binge drinking and cigarette use were significantly associated with prescription stimulant misuse over and above all other identified risk variables. Conclusions: Adolescent prescription stimulant misuse appears to overlap with general adolescent substance use, sharing several known risk correlates. Results highlight potential targets for identification of emerging prescription stimulant misuse risk profiles at earlier stages of development. Longitudinal replication is needed to examine directional associations and risk mechanisms underlying adolescent prescription stimulant misuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2258-2267
Number of pages10
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 31 2020


  • ADHD
  • adolescent
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • diversity
  • high school
  • peer norms
  • sensation seeking
  • stimulant misuse
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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