Child maltreatment types and adolescent substance use: The role of deviant peer affiliation

Dalhee Yoon, Susan M. Snyder, Susan Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This is the first study to examine the mediating effects of deviant peer affiliation on the association between different types of child maltreatment and adolescent substance use that includes alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. Peer deviance is a well-established correlate of adolescent substance use, but most studies exploring the relationship between child maltreatment and adolescent substance use have failed to include peer deviance. Structural equation modelling was conducted to examine the direct effects of each type of child maltreatment (i.e., physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and neglect) on adolescent substance use, as well as indirect effects via deviant peer affiliation, using Longitudinal Studies of Child Abuse and Neglect. The results indicated that deviant peer affiliation fully mediated the individuals who had been emotionally abused showed increased deviant peer affiliation, which in turn was associated with higher levels of adolescent substance use. None of the four types of child maltreatment was directly associated with adolescent substance use. The study's findings underscore the importance of early assessment and intervention for the peer relationships of youth who have been emotionally abused.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-363
Number of pages9
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • adolescence
  • child maltreatment
  • deviant peer affiliation
  • emotional abuse
  • substance use
  • type of child maltreatment


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