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The role of peers in the initiation and continuation of ecstasy use

The role of peers in the initiation and continuation of ecstasy use

  1. Anonymous
    Vervaeke HK, van Deursen L, Korf DJ.
    Subst Use Misuse. 2008;43(5):633-46.

    This study is a supplement to the Netherlands XTC Toxicity Study (NeXT), funded by grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development as part of its Addiction Programme. To better understand the processes of peer influence and peer selection, in a field study 106 Ecstasy users (67M/39F, average age 25.4 years) were interviewed face-to-face in Amsterdam in 2005. In the initiation of Ecstasy use, peer influence emerged as the dominating mechanism; peer selection was uncommon. In the continuation of Ecstasy use, peer influence and peer selection occurred reciprocally in a dynamic process, although peer influence made a greater relative contribution. Our study confirms that peer influence is a multidimensional process: influence was quite often reciprocal (with respondents both exerting and undergoing influence) and it could have both restraining and encouraging effects on ecstasy use. The study's limitations are noted.