Graduation Year


Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Shannon Suldo, Ph.D.


Substance abuse, Adolescence, Middle school, Academic self-efficacy, Student-teacher relations


This study investigated the relationships between early adolescent substance use and perceptions of school climate and attitudes towards school using self-report data from a sample of 443 middle school students. The present study examined school climate and attitudes towards school comprehensively in order to identify important relationships between these classes of variables and multiple types of substance use in early adolescents. The results of the study include that the model of school climate consisting of six factors (fairness, order and discipline, parental involvement, sharing or resources, student interpersonal relations, and student-teacher relations) accurately predicted 11% of the variance in middle school students' alcohol use. Additionally, the study found the model of attitudes towards school consisting of four factors (school satisfaction, academic self-efficacy, school belonging, and goal valuation) accurately predicted 13% of the variance in students' alcohol use and 4% of the variance in students' use of illicit drugs. Substance use was most highly associated with student-teacher relations, academic self-efficacy, and attachment to school. Implications for practice are discussed.