Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Lewis Walker

Second Advisor

Dr. Subhash Sonnad

Third Advisor

Dr. David Chaplin

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Previous studies have noted the importance of structural and demographic variables for the study of drug use among high school students. The present study focuses on the pattern and extent of legal and illegal drug use by high school seniors, by variables such as gender, race, religion, and academic achievement, among others.

The data used for this study were taken from Monitoring the Future (Bachman, O'Malley, & Johnston, 1980, 1987) for 1976 and 1986. Each data collection phase included a sample of over 15,000 students from approximately 125 to 135 public and private high schools, selected to provide an accurate cross section of high school seniors throughout the contiguous United States.

The degree to which high school seniors were involved with drug use was related to the student's level of social bonds, level of education of parents, gender, and race. Cross tabulations were utilized in the analysis of data. The findings in this study tend to support Hirschi's (1969) social control theory.