Family Structure and Club Drugs: The Implications of Stepfamilies for 3, 4 Methlenedioxymethampetamine (MDMA 'Ecstasy') and Methamphetamine Use

James C. Hendrickson, National Opinion Research Center

While the effects of family structure on substance abuse have been well studied, increases in the United States divorce rate during the early 1990s and the skyrocketing popularity of MDMA use suggests that family influences play an important role in MDMA/methamphetamine prevention. Previous literature has implicated adolescent membership in a step-family in alcohol and other substance abuse, but the relationship between family structure, MDMA and other types of amphetamines primarily used in dance venues remains unexplored. This paper makes use of the 2000 wave of the Family Health Study, a longitudinal survey of 840 adolescents from the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Bivariate analysis is conducted using contingency tables and Spearmans rank-order correlations. Multivariate logistic regression analysis is performed examining past year MDMA and methamphetamine use controlling for parental marital status, substance abuse, parent/child communication, parent/child drug use attitudes, educational expectations and demographic measures of both parents and children. Preliminary results indicate that users of MDMA have higher educational attainment expectations than users of amphetamines and that membership in a step-family is positively associated with use of MDMA.

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Updated 05/20/2006