Are Homeschooled Adolescents Less Likely to Use Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs?


Nearly 2 million school-age children in United States are currently homeschooled. This study seeks to examine homeschooled adolescents’ attitudes toward, access to, and use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs compared to their nonhomeschooled peers. The study uses data between 2002 and 2013 from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health for school-attending respondents ages 12–17 (n = 200,824). Participants were questioned regarding peer use of licit and illicit substances, ease of accessing illicit substances, and past 12-month substance use. Survey-adjusted binary logistic regression analyses were systematically executed to compare nonhomeschooled adolescents with homeschooled adolescents with respect to views toward, access to, and use of substances. Findings indicate that homeschooled adolescents were significantly more likely to strongly disapprove of their peers drinking (AOR = 1.23) and trying (AOR = 1.47) and routinely using (AOR = 1.59) marijuana. Homeschooled adolescents were significantly less likely to report using tobacco (AOR = 0.76), alcohol (AOR = 0.50), cannabis (AOR = 0.56), and other illicit drugs and to be diagnosed with an alcohol (AOR = 0.65) or marijuana (AOR = 0.60) use disorder. Finally, homeschooled adolescents were also less likely to report easier access to illicit drugs and to be approached by someone trying to sell drugs compared to nonhomeschooled peers. Homeschooled adolescents’ views, access, use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs are uniquely different from those of nonhomeschooled adolescents. Findings point to the need to more extensively examine the underlying mechanisms that may account for these differences.


Vaughn, M. G., Salas-Wright, C. P., Kremer, K. P., Maynard, B. R., Roberts, G., & Vaughn, S. (2015). Are homeschooled adolescents less likely to use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs? Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 155, 97–104.