Substance Use among Teens: Understanding Mechanism and Pathways

The Rockbridge Area Prevention Coalition (RAPC) would like to undertake a qualitative research study to understand the pathways and the mechanism of substance use among teenagers, including marijuana, smokeless tobacco, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.  How and where do teenagers access illegal substances? What is their perception of risk, their perception of their parents’ perception of risk, and other mechanisms that facilitate or hinder access to substance?  These qualitative data would complement survey data RAPC has already been collecting since 2008 and creates a unique opportunity for students to work on a project that uses both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Project Details

Agency Name Rockbridge Area Prevention Coalition (RAPC)
Mission RAPC is a community coalition, whose mission is to reduce substance abuse among youth in the Rockbridge area by increasing community awareness of substance use and other prevention related issues and by promoting a comprehensive network of prevention and intervention services and resources. The Coalition's vision is to promote protective factors and decrease risk factors in order to help build healthy youth, families, and communities in the Rockbridge area.
Research Need

RAPC would like to collect qualitative data on teen substance use/abuse to complement survey data that it has already been collecting biennially since 2008 on alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco, marijuana, and prescription drugs.

RAPC would like to understand how and where teenagers access illegal substances;  their own perception of risk; their parents’ perception of risk; and other mechanisms that facilitate or hinder access to substance.

RAPC would like to identify factors that are (1) measurable; (2) specific to Rockbridge County; and (3) that can be addressed and changed.

Research Methods Survey, Data Analysis, Other (see below)
Other Methods Qualitative, open-ended interviews
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