Preadolescent drug use resistance skill profiles, substance use, and substance use prevention

Suellen Hopfer, Michael L. Hecht, Stephanie T. Lanza, Xianming Tan, Shu Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aims of the current study were threefold: (1) specify the skills component of social influence prevention interventions for preadolescents, (2) examine the relationship between resistance skill profiles and substance use among preadolescents, and (3) evaluate whether subgroups of preadolescents based on their resistance skills and refusal confidence may be differentially impacted by the kiR prevention program. Latent class analysis showed a four-class model of 5th grader resistance skill profiles. Approximately half of preadolescents (53 %) were familiar with four prototypical resistance skills and showed confidence to apply these skills in real-world settings (highly competent profile); 15 % were familiar with resistance skills but had little confidence (skillful profile); 18 % were confident yet had little knowledge (confident profile); while 15 % had low knowledge and confidence (low competence profile). These skill profiles significantly predicted 8th grade recent substance use (2LL = -2,262.21, df = 3, p = .0005). As predicted by theory, the highly competent skill profile reported lower mean recent substance use than the population sample mean use. Latent transition analysis showed that although patterns of transiting into the highly competent skill profile over time were observed in the expected direction, this pattern was not significant when comparing treatment and control. Identifying skill profiles that predict recent substance use is theoretically consistent and has important implications for healthy and substance-free development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-404
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Primary Prevention
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Latent class analysis
  • Latent transition analysis
  • Resistance skill profiles
  • School-based substance abuse prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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