Truancy and illegal drug use, and knowledge of HIV infection in 932 14–16-year-old adolescents

Authors: Pritchard, C., Cotton, A. and Cox, M.

Journal: Journal of Adolescence

Volume: 15

Pages: 1-17

ISSN: 0140-1971

DOI: 10.1016/0140-1971(92)90061-9


In a sample of 932 4th & 5th year comprehensive school adolescents, 41% had truanted in the current term. The truants, compared with their non-truanting peers, had three times the level of solvent misuse (14% compared with 4%), thrice the soft drug misuse (19% compared with 6%), and four times the involvement with hard drugs (9% compared with 2%). Truants were significantly more involved with other problematic behaviour and were found to score higher on all negative social indices, including parents who smoked. Despite the sample's relatively accurate knowledge about drugs and HIV infection, truants scored less well on these and other HIV-related issues. An extrapolation of the results indicates a significant number of adolescents at risk demanding urgent policy initiatives.

Source: Manual