Personality and Individual Differences, 1997; 23, 463-471.
Substance experimentation in the Colorado Adoption Project.
Wadsworth, S. J., Corley, R. P., DeFries, J. C., Fulker, D. W., Carey, G. & Plomin, R.
It has been suggested that adopted children may be more susceptible to adjustment problems, including substance abuse. This study examined prevalence of substance use/experimentation (cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs) and age of first experimentation for adopted and nonadopted participants in the CAP based on telephone interview data. The only significant differences were in proportions of individuals drinking by grades 8 and 9, and smoking by grades 9 and 10, with adopted adolescents smoking and drinking more. However, even these differences accounted for less than 4% of the variance in experimentation. Therefore, adoptive status in this prospective, population-based sample does not appear to be an important predictor of substance use/experimentation in adolescence