Physical and relational aggression as predictors of drug use: gender differences among high school students.Addict Behav. 2008 Dec; 33(12):1507-15.AB
The present study investigated the longitudinal relationships between physical and relational aggression and later drug use, as moderated by gender. Self-reported data were gathered from 2064 high school students at pretest and 1-year post-test to test the hypotheses that (1) males would engage in more physical aggression than females, whereas females would engage in more relational aggression than males; and (2) physical aggression would be a stronger drug use predictor for males and relational aggression a stronger predictor for females. Results indicated that males reported engaging in more physical aggression than females at baseline; however, females and males reported engaging in similar rates of relational aggression. After controlling for relational aggression, baseline drug use, and demographic variables, physical aggression at baseline was found to predict alcohol use 1-year later for males but not for females. After controlling for physical aggression, baseline drug use, and demographic variables, relational aggression was found to predict cigarette use and marijuana use for females but not for males. However, relational aggression was found to predict later alcohol and hard drug equally across gender. These findings suggest that both physical and relational aggression are predictive of subsequent drug use and have important implications for violence and drug use prevention intervention efforts.