There are many known risk factors associated with youth substance use. Nonetheless, the impact of life satisfaction (LS) on the use of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana by adolescents still remains largely unknown.
The present analysis utilized data from the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children 2009–10 US study. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to assess the relationship between LS and individual substance use. Multilevel multinomial regression models examined the relationship with total number of substances used.
After controlling for numerous variables associated with substance use, individuals reporting low LS were significantly more likely to ever use tobacco (OR = 1.34, 95% CI = [1.01, 1.78]), alcohol (OR = 1.45, 95% CI = [1.10, 1.92]) and marijuana (OR = 1.98, 95% CI = [1.39, 2.82]). Additionally, students with low LS were significantly more likely to use two substances (OR = 1.90, 95% CI = [1.15, 3.14]) and three substances concurrently (OR = 2.00, 95% CI = [1.27, 3.16]).
The present study identified strong associations between LS and individual, as well as concurrent, substance use among adolescents. Interventions aiming to reduce adolescent substance use may benefit from incorporating components to improve LS.