The Relationship Between Social and Emotional Competence and Adolescent Drug Use in Middle School: A Meta-Analysis
By: Sukhminder Kaur Masters
Published: 5/18/2016
Uploaded: 06/06/2018
Uploaded by: Pocket Masters
Pockets: 2016 (May) Teachers College Columbia University Ed.D. Dissertations, Gottesman Libraries Archive, Historical Dissertations
Tags: Adolescent, Drug use, Emotional intelligence, Meta-Analysis, Middle school, Social and Emotional Learning

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Description/Abstract: Middle school, a time of transition in adolescents lives, is when some youth begin experimenting with drugs. Some research suggests that these early experimenters are more likely to engage in long-term drug use and precocious sexual activity as well as to suffer from poor school engagement and lowered academic achievement. No meta-analysis to date has examined the overall relationship between social and emotional competence and middle school drug use. Therefore, using the Social Cognitive Theory, this meta-analytic study explores the relationship between social and emotional competence (SEC) and middle school alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use. Employing the Population Intervention Comparison Outcomes Study design (PICOS) framework, clear inclusion/exclusion criteria were developed to search 17 databases for literature. The database search returned 8,436 titles and abstracts for screening. After screening and coding, 36 studies between 1995 2015 were identified that yielded 290 effect sizes that quantified the relationship between SEC and middle school drug use; 237 effect sizes were correlation coefficients (r) and 53 were semi-partial correlations (rsp). Results from meta-regression analyses of r demonstrate that SEC was associated with decreased drug use, but that once accounting for other factors, the semi-partial correlation dropped to zero. Therefore, contextual factors in adolescents lives may be responsible for the observed correlation between SEC and early drug use. One limitation of this study is that all effect sizes were cross-sectional, which precludes an examination of causality. Nevertheless, implications of this study include a need for further research to determine if targeting adolescents SEC in middle school is an optimal strategy for drug use prevention or if other avenues of prevention should be explored.