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Substance Use Framed as Situational Action

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posted on 2021-02-20, 16:08 authored by Nina-Katri Gustafsson
The article first aimed at identifying important theories and research which have been suggested to explain why people use substances. Over the years the research field has become immense and scattered, to some extent divided and specialized, which restrains the potential of knowing what matters most. A second aim was therefore to show how these various aspects could be incorporated into a common theoretical framework. Three central theoretical traits were identified in the literature, suggesting that substance use is affected by laws and policies in society, norms and behaviours of others and people’s individual characteristics. This fits well with the Situational Action Theory suggesting that individual and environmental factors matter, but that the interaction between them is most important, and further clarifies the patterns and links between different explanations. This is helpful when determining the real causes of substance use and might further assist in selecting between various policy approaches.


ESRC funded project the Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study (PADS+) (grant ref. RES-060-25-0018)


Original title

Substance Use Framed as Situational Action

Original language

  • English



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