Graduation Year


Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Shannon M. Suldo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rance Harbor, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Robert Dedrick, Ph.D.


substance use, depression, anxiety, school involvement, adolescence, high school


Substance use during adolescence is associated with numerous undesirable short term and long term consequences. This study examined rates of substance use, as well as rates of elevated anxiety and depressive symptomalogy, among 138 students attending a predominantly Hispanic, low-SES high school. The current study also examined the complex relationships between adolescent substance use, mental health problems, and involvement in school-based extracurricular activities, among this ethnically diverse sample. Results included that a significant proportion of adolescents in the sample fell in the "at-risk" category for a clinical diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety disorder. Further, those students who reported smoking cigarettes and using marijuana were more likely to endorse feelings/thoughts related to school avoidance. Results also indicated that the more adolescents reported being involved in prosocial/academically oriented school-based extracurricular activities and/or special interest clubs, the less likely they were to report smoking cigarettes. Finally, involvement in athletics protected students with social anxiety from using cigarettes. Implications of these findings for future research as well as practice are also discussed.