Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Public Health

Degree Type

Master of Science


The purpose of this research was to determine whether a selected group of factors are significant when trying to predict the use of alcohol by adolescents who live in rural areas. This research is important because most of the studies concerning drug and alcohol use in adolescents have focused on adolescents who live in urban areas. The results of such studies may not be generalizable to rural populations. The factors investigated included the following: availability of alcohol, peer influence, parental influence, tobacco use, gender, and grade level. These factors were chosen based on their inclusion in four prominent theories regarding adolescent drug and alcohol use. Data were collected for this study in April 1994 in Warren County, a rural county in Kentucky. The responses from 2,3 53 high school students were collected using the Warren County KIDS (Knowledge and Information about Drugs and Substances) Team Survey. The data were analyzed using a chi square analysis. All of the factors were found to be significantly related to alcohol use in rural adolescents. The results of the study revealed that having alcohol available, having peer pressure to use alcohol, having parents who used alcohol or who had permissive attitudes toward alcohol use, using tobacco, being male, and being in higher grades increased the likelihood that adolescents would begin using alcohol.


Public Health | Substance Abuse and Addiction