Master's Theses


Social Work

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The researcher investigated substance use in rural Kansas fifth and sixth graders. Independent variables were gender, family structure, perceived relationship with parents, family substance use, attitude towards family, peer substance use, and self-concept. Dependent variables were number of cigarettes smoked, frequency of cigarette use, amount of alcohol use, and frequency of marijuana use. (No subjects reported use of marijuana.) The sample consisted of 160 students, comprised of 71 fifth graders, 89 sixth graders, with 78 boys and 82 girls. A status survey design was employed using a three-way analysis of variance. Results showed peer substance use was a significant main effect for all dependent variables, and was more influential when attitude towards family was average to poor. Higher family substance use resulted in significantly higher mean use by subjects in 11 out of 15 interactions. Subjects with poor self-concept who were users nearly always reported greater mean use than those with positive self-concepts. Although peer influence is a significant factor, this study supports the importance of low substance use by family and of maintaining a working relationship with the child in reducing substance use among rural elementary students.


Bill Daley

Date of Award

Spring 1991

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1991 Hannah J. Barrett


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