This study seeks to examine heterogeneity in developmental patterns of ecstasy use during adolescence and early adulthood among juvenile offenders and identify risk factors predicting development. Group-based trajectory modeling was utilized to elucidate heterogeneity in developmental patterns of ecstasy use. Multinomial logistic regression was utilized to identify covariates that affected the risk of assignment to groups elucidated in the trajectory model. A five-group model was found to best fit the ecstasy use data. Baseline measures of deviant peer association, self-control, other drug use, and race were identified as important risk factors predicting patterns of development. Risk of ecstasy use may be greatest for some juvenile offenders during critical periods of the life course and some social and personal characteristics that may elevate risk. Stability that is characteristic of self-control may be highly relevant for predicting persistent ecstasy use during adolescence and early adulthood.
Thomas W. Wojciechowski
Journal of Drug Issues, June 19, 2018