Prevention efforts can be informed by learning more about the risks and protective factors for adolescent non-medical use of prescription drugs (NMUPD). A study was conducted with data collected from the Health Chat study to look at the potential influence of maternal factors, social norms, and perceptions of risk and availability on NMUPD by adolescent females. Health Chat was a social media intervention to help reduce mothers’ permissiveness toward their teen daughters’ indoor tanning behavior in an effort to prevent skin cancer. Mother-daughter communication on other health topics was also analyzed. Methods and findings for this NMUPD analysis have been published online in the journal, Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy.
Multiple logistic regression was used for analysis. Daughters’ past NMUPD and inclination for future NMUPD were regressed onto descriptive norms for friend use, perceived drug accessibility and risk of harm from use, daughter age, mothers’ disapproval about use, mothers’ past NMUPD and inclination for future NMUPD, and the mother-daughter relationship quality. Akaike weights and lasso regressions were also estimated to evaluate the relative importance of each correlate. Higher descriptive norms for friend use, older age, and mothers’ inclination for NMUPD were risk factors for daughters’ NMUPD. Protective factors were a closer mother-daughter relationship and mothers’ disapproving attitudes towards NMUPD. The authors conclude that friend descriptive norms, mother-daughter relationship quality, and mothers’ attitudes about NMUPD could be explored as key targets for prevention efforts.
This research was funded by a grant and supplement from the National Cancer Institute (CA192652; Dr. David Buller and Dr. Sherry Pagoto, Multiple Principal Investigators). The lead author is Gemma Wallace from Colorado State University. Collaborating authors include Dr. Katie Baker and Dr. Stephanie Mathis from East Tennessee State University; Dr. Kimberly Henry from Colorado State University; Dr. Sherry Pagoto from the University of Connecticut; and Dr. David Buller and Julia Berteletti from Klein Buendel.
Dr. Carolyn J. Heckman is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Co-Leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. She received a BA in Psychology from Brown University and PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Iowa. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in health psychology and addictions at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is also a licensed psychologist.
Dr. Heckman has published more than 100 research papers and presented at many national and international conferences. Much of her work focuses on skin cancer prevention and detection. Her other interests include online interventions and tobacco use and cessation. She has been funded numerous times by the National Cancer Institute and has also received funding from the American Cancer Society and Pfizer, Inc.
In addition to her research, Dr. Heckman is a member of the NIH Community Level Health Promotion study section and she is on the Editorial Board of the journal Translational Behavioral Medicine. She is the Founder/Leader of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey’s Dissemination and Implementation Science Working Group. Dr. Heckman has served on several steering and advisory, grant review, search committee, training, and other committees and community groups. For example, she served as the National Chair of the Don’t Fry Day skin cancer prevention awareness campaign sponsored by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention.
Currently, Dr. Heckman is a Co-Investigator on a five-year R01 study called “A Multi-Level Investigation of U.S. Indoor Tanning Policy Enactment, Implementation, Compliance, Impact, and Economics” with Klein Buendel’s Dr. David Buller. The goals of this research project are to complete three specific aims: 1) conduct a comparative case study to elucidate the indoor tanning legislation adoption process; 2) use a pseudo-patron (confederate) assessment, national survey, and archival data to investigate indoor tanning legislation implementation, as well as indoor tanning and sunburn outcomes among adolescents and young adults; and 3) integrate data from the first two aims and external data to assess economic effects relevant to policy sustainability of indoor tanning stringency, enforcement, and compliance.