Influence of Interscholastic Athletic Participation on the Use of Illicit Drugs

Stephen V. Gies, Development Services Group

ABSTRACT
This paper examines the influence of interscholastic athletic participation on the use of illicit drugs using panel data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS). The central component of this research uses regression analysis to examine the hypothesis. Specifically, it uses an instrumental variable approach to analyze the influence of interscholastic athletic participation on illicit drug use by obtaining the predicted values of athletic participation as a function of the background variables and the identification variables in the first stage of the analysis. The second stage uses the predicted values of athletic participation and the background variables to estimate its effect on the measures of illicit drug use. Moreover, it focuses on the influence of particular sports -- football, basketball, baseball, swimming, diving, etc. -- as well as the group dynamic effects (i.e. team vs. individual sports) of athletic participation on substance use.

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Updated 05/20/2006