Testing the competing life reinforcers model for substance use in reserve-dwelling First Nation youth

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Date of Original Version



PURPOSE: North American Indigenous (NAI) communities often cite substance misuse as problematic in their communities. The Competing Life Reinforcers (CLRs) model suggests that when reinforcers are valued, important, and incompatible with substance use, they will be associated with less substance misuse. Three categories of CLRs were identified in our formative work and include the following: cultural, social, and extracurricular activities. The aims of the current study were to test the associations among valuing and availability of CLRs and NAI adolescent alcohol and marijuana use. METHODS: Adolescents living in rural First Nation reserve communities (N = 106, 50.0% female) reported their substance use and perceived availability and valuing of CLRs (e.g., smudging and after school activities). FINDINGS: Greater value placed on cultural reinforcers was significantly associated with reduced likelihood of past 3-month drinking to get drunk (OR = 0.85, 95% CI[0.73, 0.98]). Greater value placed on social reinforcers was associated with lower likelihood of past 3-month drinking (OR = 0.94, 95% CI[0.89, 0.995]) and past-3 month drinking to get drunk (OR = 0.94, 95% CI[0.88, 0.99]). Greater valuing extracurricular activities were associated with lower likelihood of past month marijuana use (OR = 0.84, 95% CI[0.72, 098]), past 3-month drinking (OR = 0.77, 95% CI[0.64, 0.92]), and past 3-month drinking to get drunk (OR = 0.76, 95% CI[0.63, 0.92]). CONCLUSIONS: CLRs may be protective against NAI adolescent substance use and may be useful targets for prevention and treatment for NAI adolescent substance use. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

The American journal of orthopsychiatry