Insufficient research has been conducted on the potentially unique vulnerability factors and particularly severe consequences of inhalant abuse among adolescents. Most studies focus on prevalence rates, general descriptions, and neurological effects of inhalant abuse. Overall, findings suggest that inhalant abuse may have serious deleterious effects on cognitive capacity that may lead to deterioration of social, behavioral, and academic skills, compounding the severity and prognosis of substance abuse disorder. Unknown, however, is whether some of the consequences of inhalant abuse may have actually preexisted as vulnerability factors and were subsequently exacerbated by the use of inhalants. A better understanding is needed of the unique factors which may lead to or protect from inhalant abuse and delineation of how these factors may be exacerbated by damage due to subsequent use. To address these critical issues, the proposed longitudinal prospective panel study will identify specific vulnerability and protective factors in the social, behavioral, and cognitive domains that antedate and distinguish inhalant abuse. Change in these factors will be assessed as preadolescents begin to use inhalants to determine their role as premorbid or consequential. Student survey data collected by RTI for the National Evaluation of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) Initiative were examined to identify a school district (Cicero, Illinois) in which the 30-day prevalence for 7th graders is over 15%. The sample will be largely Hispanic, representative of other communities with high rates of inhalant abuse. Four hundred youth, 200 from each of two cohorts (5th and 6th graders), will be randomly recruited from this district and interviewed at four points (annual waves) to assess specifically selected social, behavioral and cognitive conditions. Recruiting preadolescents will capture those who have not yet used inhalants, and repeated measures will span a period in which onset of and subsequent inhalant abuse is common. Specifically, developmental factors and how they are influenced by inhalant abuse over time will be examined. Elucidation of these vulnerabilities and consequences in a longitudinal panel design will inform the development of preventive and treatment interventions, individualized to underlying conditions, for adolescent inhalant abusers, a group for which a specific intervention has yet to be developed. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1-KXA-N (02))
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Thomas, Yonette
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Research Triangle Institute
Research Triangle Park
United States
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Fishbein, Diana; Novak, Scott P; Krebs, Christopher et al. (2011) The mediating effect of depressive symptoms on the relationship between traumatic childhood experiences and drug use initiation. Addict Behav 36:527-31
Warner, Tara D; Fishbein, Diana H; Krebs, Christopher P (2010) The risk of assimilating? Alcohol use among immigrant and U.S.-born Mexican youth. Soc Sci Res 39:176-186
Fishbein, Diana; Warner, Tara; Krebs, Christopher et al. (2009) Differential relationships between personal and community stressors and children's neurocognitive functioning. Child Maltreat 14:299-315