Tri-Ethnic Center

College of Natural Sciences

Does Bonding to School Protect American Indian Adolescents Against the Effects of Peer Influences on Alcohol Use?

Middle and high school students attending schools on or near AI reservations were surveyed for the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 school years from 37 school districts with a total of 2582 students participating.  The moderating effects of bonding to school on the relationship between peer influences and alcohol use were examined separately for students younger than and older than 16 years of age. 

With control for sex, age, family constellation, cultural identification, and parental monitoring, among both age groups, peer alcohol use increased the risk for alcohol use.  Bonding to school served to lower the risk for alcohol use among younger students, but not among older students.  Furthermore, bonding to school served as a protective factor, buffering the effects of peer alcohol use among youth younger than 16. 

Dickens, D., Dieterich, S.E., Henry, K.L., & Beauvais, F. (2012).  School bonding as a moderator of the effect of peer influences on alcohol use among American Indian adolescents.  Journal of Studies on Alcohol & Drugs, 73, 597-603.