The prevalence of drug use among adolescents is a disturbing phenomenon that has been investigated for decades. When adolescents abuse drugs, their lives can be adversely affected (Jenkins & Zunguze, 1998, p. 811; Wynn, Schulenberg, Kloska, & Laetz, 1997, p. 390). In an effort to uncover the underlying causes of this phenomenon, researchers have highlighted peer influence as one of the key factors in determining drug use (Jenkins & Zunguze, 1998, p. 811). Thus, the purpose of this paper is to analyze research articles that examine the relationship between peer influence and drug use among adolescents.
Each of the five research studies that analyze the relationship between drug use among adolescents and peer influence will be discussed separately. The review and evaluation of each research study will cover the hypotheses, the results and limitations of the study.
One of the primary limitations of this paper is the lack of space. Therefore, this paper can only highlight key results of the individual research studies without delving into the statistical approaches and detailed figures. Therefore, the discussions of these results are liable to oversimplify the sophistication and complexity of the research studies.
In addition, the analysis of this paper is also constrained by the limitations of the research studies themselves. Many of the research studies obtain their results based on self-reports. Self-reports are not the most dependable source of information because participants may respond dishonestly in order to provide satisfactory answers to the researchers. Furthermore, many of the studies picked subjects from school districts in a particular area. Therefore, the subjects of the studies cannot be considered to be representative of the nation's population.
The relationship between peer influence and drug use is assessed by analyzing the role of peers in each of these research studies. Because of differences in the...