Examining Changes in Substance Use of Dutch Adolescents Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Gender, Family Affluence and Corona Worries as Moderators
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Recent studies have shown that the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis may lead to an increase in psychological symptoms and disorders such as anxiety, depression, worry, and stress. However, it remains to be seen what the potential consequences of COVID-19 are for adolescent substance use. The aim of this study was to investigate the change in substance use before and during the COVID-19 crisis of Dutch adolescents and whether this change was moderated by gender, family affluence and corona worries. Data from the Dutch YOUth Got Talent project collected in 2019/2020 were used. The sample included 462 adolescents between 16 and 25 years old (M = 17.00, SD = 1.4). The results of the McNemar Test showed no significant change in smoking, alcohol and cannabis use during the COVID-19 crisis compared to before the COVID-19 crisis. The repeated measures ANOVA showed an increase in substance use during COVID-19 compared to before COVID-19, when analyzing all substances together. The difference in substance use before and during COVID-19 did not vary across gender, family affluence and corona worries. Practical implications are further discussed.