Peer Information and Substance Use Decision Making in Street-Involved Youth

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Macdonald, Erin




Drug related information sharing among homeless youth is an understudied phenomenon with critical intervention implications in the community. This study takes a mixed-methods approach with a sample of street-involved youth, to assess both themes relevant to peer information sharing about drug use, and whether peer information sharing has an impact on well-being. N=82 youth were recruited from a community drop-in centre, n=46 participants completed a semi-structured interview assessing factors relating to drug related peer information sharing. All participants completed a survey assessing substance use frequency and dependence, well-being, and peer credibility. Key qualitative findings demonstrated that trust, experience, and salience of information were key themes in assessing peer provided information regarding substance use. Regression analysis indicated a small relationship between peer credibility and well-being. These findings provide a critical view of high-risk youths' evaluation of drug related information, with implications for improving current information sharing strategies in the community.


Psychology - Developmental




Carleton University

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