Date of Award

Spring 2009

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Karen Van Gundy


The purpose of this thesis was to examine the relationship between substance-related attitudes and substance use behaviors among a sample of New Hampshire adolescents. Data from the New Hampshire Youth Survey, a longitudinal survey of deviance among adolescents, were used, yielding a sample of 760 middle- and high-school students. Hypotheses tested include whether substance use and attitudes varied by sex or age, whether attitudes and behaviors had predictive ability on one another, and whether that predictive ability varied by sex or age. Data were analyzed through a series of logistic and ordered logistic regression models. Findings showed that (1) age, but not sex, differences in substance use are persistent across Times, (2) females and younger students express less favorable attitudes towards use, and (3) attitudes and behaviors predict one another, and may be best explained through a mutually reinforcing, bi-directional relationship, which should be tested more thoroughly in future research.