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Youth drug use in Barbados and England: correlates with online peer influences

Jules, Mia Amour; Maynard, Donna-Maria B.; Coulson, Neil


Mia Amour Jules

Donna-Maria B. Maynard


This study examined the relationship between susceptibility to drug-related online peer influence on Facebook and offline alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use among emerging adults (18-24 years) enrolled at the university level in Barbados and England. A cross-national comparative, explanatory sequential mixed-methods design was employed with samples of students of African-Caribbean descent and European descent in Barbados and England, respectively. Quantitative data were collected using surveys from 241 students in Barbados and 186 in England. Qualitative focus groups were conducted with 23 Barbadian students and 16 English students. Spearman’s rank-order correlations were conducted to analyze quantitative data and a three-tiered categorization system was used to analyze the qualitative data. Significant positive relationships between students’ susceptibility to online peer influence (SOPI) and alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use were found. Six qualitative themes emerged representing cross-national similarities, while three themes emerged highlighting some differences between the two contexts. We propose that the relationship between SOPI and offline drug use may be mediated by the interrelated factors of emerging-adult developmental characteristics and the online and offline social environments. We represent these findings diagrammatically to convey that developmental and environmental factors together can provide a holistic understanding of the interplay between online interactions and offline risk behaviors.


Jules, M. A., Maynard, D. B., & Coulson, N. (2019). Youth drug use in Barbados and England: correlates with online peer influences. Journal of Adolescent Research,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 15, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 3, 2019
Publication Date Apr 3, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 17, 2019
Publicly Available Date May 8, 2019
Journal Journal of Adolescent Research
Print ISSN 0743-5584
Electronic ISSN 1552-6895
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Sociology and political science; Developmental and educational psychology
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