Why Parents Worry: Initiation into Cannabis Use by Youth and their Educational Attainment

23 de agosto de 20102min100

by Jan C. van Ours & Jenny Williams – The University of Melbourne – Australia.
In this paper we use individual level data from the Australian National Drug Strategy Household Survey to study the relationship between initiation into cannabis use and educational attainment. Using instrumental variable estimation and bivariate duration analysis we find that those initiating into cannabis use early in life are much more likely to dropout of school compared to those who start later on. Moreover, we find that the reduction in years of schooling depends on the age at which initiation occurs, and that it is larger for females than males.
One of parents’ greatest fears is that their child will become involved with drugs. Underlying this fear is the belief that drug use could lead to poor educational attainment, subsequent failure in the labor market, and without a good job to anchor their lives, an unhappy future. Viewed within a human capital framework, this scenario may find resonance. For example, drug use could lead teenagers to substitute time spent under the influence of drugs for time spent studying, resulting in poor academic achievement and an early exit from education. This is particularly a concern with cannabis because initiation into its use typically occurs during the teenage years, coinciding with the timing of critical decisions about investment in  formal education, both at the extensive and intensive margins.
Why_Parents_Worry.pdf  (na íntegra)

Sobre a UNIAD

A Unidade de Pesquisa em álcool e Drogas (UNIAD) foi fundada em 1994 pelo Prof. Dr. Ronaldo Laranjeira e John Dunn, recém-chegados da Inglaterra. A criação contou, na época, com o apoio do Departamento de Psiquiatria da UNIFESP. Inicialmente (1994-1996) funcionou dentro do Complexo Hospital São Paulo, com o objetivo de atender funcionários dependentes.