Classifying Clinically Referred Adolescent Substance Abusers by Level of Externalizing and Internalizing Symptoms

Cynthia L Rowe, Howard A Liddle, Gayle A Dakof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


Adolescent substance abusers demonstrate numerous emotional and behavioral difficulties in conjunction with drug problems. In this study, 236 clinically referred substance abusing adolescents were grouped on level of self-reported and parent-reported internalizing and externalizing symptoms and compared on important variables. Three groups emerged: Externalizers, Exclusive Substance Abusers, and Mixed (adolescents with both internalizing and externalizing symptoms). Exclusive Substance Abusers showed a general pattern of more positive functioning than adolescents in the other groups. This study reveals that clinically referred adolescent substance abusers can be meaningfully distinguished on levels of externalizing and internalizing problems, and that family characteristics differentiate these groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-65
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001



  • Adolescents
  • Externalizing problems
  • Family
  • Internalizing problems
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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