Risk-taking related to drug use: An application of the shift-to-risk design

Sherry Deren, Don C Des Jarlais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The utility of the shift-to-risk design for studying the influence of peer groups on drug taking was investigated. Two studies using this design with drug content were conducted, varying the level of information provided about a drug. Subjects were from two college classes consisting of 26 and 28 students. Results indicated that the specification of possible harmful drug effects which are somewhat minimal lead to a significantly greater willingness to recommend trying the drug. In addition, a tendency for a shift-to-caution was found. It was concluded that the shift-to-risk design was useful for studying decision-making regarding drug use, and that both users and nonusers of drugs should be included in future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-399
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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