Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type

Honors Project


College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Serena King

Second Advisor

Matt Olson


Using a cross-sectional study design, we examined whether peer relationships, parent-child conflict and family history of substance problems predicted substance use (frequency and quantify of alcohol, nicotine and marijuana use, age at first and alcohol and marijuana use, and maximum number of drinks consumed in a 24 hour period) in a sample of college students (N=194). Our findings suggested the following: 1) deviant peers and deviant substance using peers were significantly related to increases in all substance use measures, and a decrease in age at first alcohol, use but not age at first marijuana use. 2) there were no gender differences found in substance use or the relationships between the predictors and outcomes, 3) there were no effects of a family history of substance use problems on the SU outcomes, and 4) there were no effects of parent-child conflict on the SU outcomes. Results from this study suggest that effective intervention and prevention programs should be aimed at disrupting deviant or deviant substance- using peer group in college students at risk of problem substance use.