U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Intergenerational Continuity and Discontinuity in Substance Use: the Role of Concurrent Parental Marijuana Use

NCJ Number
Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology Volume: 7 Issue: 2 Dated: 2021 Pages: 127-150
Date Published
24 pages

This study examined whether parental marijuana use that occurred during the life of a child impacted patterns of continuity and discontinuity in adolescent substance use among father-child dyads.


The study used data from 263 father-child-mother triads involved in the Rochester Youth Development Study (RYDS) and the Rochester Intergenerational Study (RIGS). A dual trajectory model was used to examine the research questions. Results suggest that both paternal and maternal marijuana use during the child’s life increase the probability that a child will follow a moderate or high substance-use trajectory during adolescence, beyond the risk incurred from paternal adolescent history of substance use. Some nuances related to the timing of concurrent parental marijuana use emerged across parent sex. The results highlight the important role of both caregivers in the explanation of patterns of discontinuity across generations, as well as the relevance of considering when the use occurred. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2021