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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Social Self-Control Is a Statistically Nonredundant Correlate of Adolescent Substance Use.

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The social self-control scale (SSCS), which taps provocative behavior in social situations, was compared with five potentially overlapping measures (i.e., temperament-related impulsivity, psychomotor agitation-related self-control, perceived social competence, and rash action in response to negative and positive affectively charged states) as correlates of tobacco use and other drug use among a sample of 3,356 ninth-grade youth in Southern California high schools. While there was a lot of shared variance among the measures, the SSCS was incrementally associated with both categories of drug use over and above alternate constructs previously implicated in adolescent drug use. Hence, SSC may relate to adolescent drug use through an etiological pathway unique from other risk constructs. Given that youth who tend to alienate others through provocative social behavior are at risk for multiple drug use, prevention programming to modify low SSC may be warranted.

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