Adolescents’ Risk Perception on Health of Drug Use: A European Comparative Analysis

Nicoletta Balbo, Bocconi University
Andrea Bonanomi, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Francesca Luppi, Bocconi University

Sociological literature provides few cross-country evidence of existing normalization processes in drugs use among adolescents in Western countries. They found that – on average - adolescents living in countries with high prevalence in substances use report a lower associated risk perception than adolescents living in low prevalence countries do. Moreover, results from recent studies show that polydrugs users are becoming a prevalent group among adolescent substance users. Our research aims to integrate the normalization approach with the new evidences about polydrugs consumption among adolescents. More specifically, using ESPAD data (waves: 2003, 2007 and 2011), the paper provides with a synthetic measure of risk perception related to substance use, which takes into account both the frequency of use and the type of substance. In addition, it tests whether, using comprehensive indexes for risk perception in drug use, the normalization thesis is confirmed in a European cross-country perspective.

Presented in Session 63: Child and Adolescent Health