n Acta Criminologica : African Journal of Criminology & Victimology - Exposure to interpersonal violence during childhood as an antecedent to adolescent drug abuse : an analysis of gender differences

Volume 2015 Number sed-3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093


Gender differences in the association between childhood exposure to interpersonal violence and adolescent drug abuse were examined in a non-clinical sample of 725 South African adolescents. When alcohol abuse in the past 12 months was entered as the criterion variable, there was a significant association between childhood experiences of witnessing domestic violence and the severity of alcohol abuse for both male and female participants. In addition, a history of child molestation was significantly associated with the severity of alcohol abuse for female participants but not for males. When the use of illicit substances in the past 12 months was entered as the criterion variable, the severity of illicit substance use among male participants was significantly predicted by an older age, higher levels of poverty in the family home and a history of childhood exposure to: direct forms of domestic violence, direct and vicarious forms of exposure to community violence, and childhood molestation. None of the variables considered in the analysis were found to account for a significant proportion of the variance in the severity of illicit substance abuse among female participants. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for theory and for future research.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error