Self-Medication and Violent Behavior

Self-Medication and Violent Behavior
Michael K. Ostrowsky
January 2009

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-299-1 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / xvi, 250 pages

Price   $70.00


Ostrowsky identifies the causes and consequences of alcohol and marijuana use among adolescents. Edward Khantzian's "self-medication hypothesis" provides the theoretical framework. However, using longitudinal data from the Rochester Youth Development Study, Ostrowsky extends Khantzian's perspective and also moves beyond previous tests of the hypothesis. Overall, the results provide little support to the five predictions of the self-medication hypothesis, but a few interesting findings did emerge. In terms of drug use, weak school commitment predicts an increase in alcohol use and weak parental attachment predicts an increase in marijuana use among early and late adolescent girls. In terms of violence, high self-esteem was found to increase violent behavior among late adolescent girls, contrary to expectation.

About the Author

Michael K. Ostrowsky has a B.A. from University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an M.A. from Florida Atlantic University, and a Ph.D. from University at Albany, SUNY. He is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Southern Utah University, where he teaches deviant behavior, crime and society, juvenile delinquency, social problems, and research methods. He and his wife enjoy hiking and biking.