Pubdate: Fri, 20 Jul 2001
Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN)
Copyright: 2001 St. Paul Pioneer Press
Author: Martha Irvine


Sixth to 12th-graders who live in single-dad homes are more likely than 
others to use drugs, according to a survey released Thursday.

The survey, done by a division of an Atlanta-based anti-drug organization, 
also found that high schoolers' use of such drugs as heroin, Ecstasy and 
marijuana increased -- reversing a three-year decline in overall drug use. 
Meanwhile, cigarette and alcohol use dropped to a 13-year low.

The survey was conducted at schools that contracted with PRIDE Surveys -- 
an arm of the Parents' Resource Institute for Drug Education -- during the 
2000-2001 academic year. More than 75,000 students nationwide answered 
questionnaires anonymously.

This was the 14th annual survey but it was the first time it broke down the 
numbers to look at children who live with their mothers only, fathers only 
and stepparents.

The survey found that 38.4 percent of students who lived with their fathers 
only said they used drugs. The percentages for other family structures 
were: father and stepmother, 31.9 percent; mother and stepfather, 29.8 
percent; mother only, 28.3 percent; and both parents, 20.4 percent.

Thomas Gleaton, who headed the study, said the results aren't meant to bash 
fathers. Rather, he said, they reflect the importance of a mother's role. 
"The farther the mother gets away, the more difficult it becomes for the 
child," Gleaton said.
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