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Open AccessArticle

Romantic Attraction and Substance Use in 15-Year-Old Adolescents from Eight European Countries

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Health Promotion Research Centre, School of Health Sciences, National University of Ireland Galway, University Road, H91 TK33 Galway, Ireland
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Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Izabella utca 46, 1064 Budapest, Hungary
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Department of Interdisciplinary Social Science, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.140, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement, Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, 1–3 Museum Place, CF10 3BD Cardiff, UK
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Independent Researcher, 1180 Brussels, Belgium
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Department for Monitoring and Evaluation of Social Projects, Ukrainian Institute for Social Research after Oleksandr Yaremenko, 26 Panasa Myrnogo Str., Of. 211, 01011 Kyiv, Ukraine
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The Department of Health Systems Management, Ariel University, Ramat HaGolan St 65, 40700 Ariel, Israel
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School of Psychology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia
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Department of Developmental and Social Psychology, University of Padova, 8 via Venezia, 35131 Padova, Italy
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Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre (SARAVYC), School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, T222-2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 2B5, Canada
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(17), 3063; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173063
Received: 30 July 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 19 August 2019 / Published: 23 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity)
Sexual minority youth are at higher risk of substance use than heterosexual youth. However, most evidence in this area is from North America, and it is unclear whether the findings can be generalized to other cultures and countries. In this investigation, we used data from the 2014 Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study to compare substance use in same- and both-gender attracted 15-year-old adolescents from eight European countries (n = 14,545) to that of their peers who reported opposite-gender attraction or have not been romantically attracted to anyone. Both-gender attracted, and to a lesser extent, same-gender attracted adolescents were significantly more likely to smoke cigarettes, consume alcohol, get drunk and use cannabis, or be involved in multiple substance use in the last 30 days compared to their opposite-gender attracted peers. Those adolescents who have not been in love had significantly lower odds for substance use than all other youth. The pattern of results remained the same after adjusting for country, gender and family affluence. These findings are compatible with the minority stress and romantic stress theories. They suggest that sexual minority stigma (and love on its own) may contribute to higher substance use among adolescents in European countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescents; romantic attraction; same-gender attraction; both-gender attraction; sexual minority youth; substance use; alcohol consumption; drunkenness; tobacco; cannabis; HBSC adolescents; romantic attraction; same-gender attraction; both-gender attraction; sexual minority youth; substance use; alcohol consumption; drunkenness; tobacco; cannabis; HBSC
MDPI and ACS Style

Költő, A.; Cosma, A.; Young, H.; Moreau, N.; Pavlova, D.; Tesler, R.; Thorsteinsson, E.B.; Vieno, A.; Saewyc, E.M.; Nic Gabhainn, S. Romantic Attraction and Substance Use in 15-Year-Old Adolescents from Eight European Countries. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3063.

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