Nonmedical Prescription Drug Use Among Female Adolescents: The Relative Influence of Maternal Factors, Social Norms, and Perceptions of Risk and Availability

Document Type


Publication Date



Increasing understanding of the risk and protective factors for adolescent nonmedical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD) could inform prevention efforts. Several correlates have been identified, including parental factors, perceptions about use and accessibility, social norms, and age. However, these constructs have rarely been simultaneously examined using paired data from parents and adolescents. We aimed to examine the relative influence of these correlates among dyads (N = 349) of mothers and adolescent daughters. Using multiple logistic regression, daughters’ past NMUPD and inclination for future NMUPD were regressed onto descriptive norms for friend use, perceived drug accessibility and risk of harm from use, daughter age, mothers’ disapproval about use, mothers’ past NMUPD and inclination for future NMUPD, and the mother-daughter relationship quality. Akaike weights and lasso regressions were also estimated to evaluate the relative importance of each correlate. Higher descriptive norms for friend use, older age, and mothers’ inclination for NMUPD were risk factors for daughters’ NMUPD, while a closer mother-daughter relationship and mothers’ disapproving attitudes towards NMUPD were protective factors. The three analysis approaches were corroborative. Results suggest friend descriptive norms, mother-daughter relationship quality, and mothers’ attitudes about NMUPD are important prevention targets.