Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2022


Undergraduate Honours Theses


Despite research in adolescent substance use being a well-established discipline, little is known about the relationships between substance use during the COVID-19 pandemic when related to self-reported popularity and peer connectedness as predictors of this behaviour. This study sought to determine how binge drinking and vaping changed from the beginning of the pandemic (T1) to June 2021 (T2) and to examine how self-reported popularity and peer connectedness were predictors of this behaviour. At T1, there were 937 adolescent participants between 14-18 years of age (Mage = 16.93, SD = .85; 76.7% female, 21% male, and 2.3% other) and at T2, there were 489 adolescent participants (Mage = 17.96, 79.1% female, 17.6% male and 2.8% other). Participants completed online self-report surveys with questions related to their substance use frequency, peer connectedness during the pandemic and self-reported popularity at both T1 and T2. It was hypothesized that binge drinking and vaping frequency, operationalized as the number of days of use in the last three weeks, would be greater at T2 compared to T1. Furthermore, it was hypothesized that self-reported popularity and peer connectedness at T1 would predict increased substance use at T2. A paired-samples t-test revealed that adolescents binge drank and vaped more at T2 compared to T1. Stepwise linear regression revealed that T1 popularity was a significant predictor of vaping at T2 but not binge drinking at T2, although the results did not predict increases in vaping from T1 to T2. Last, the regression substantiated that increased peer connectedness at T1 did not predict increased substance use at T2. These findings suggest that adolescents may be at a greater risk negative consequences related to substance use and self-reported popularity. Implications, results for adolescent substance use, as well as prevention, intervention, and future directions are discussed.


Thesis Advisor(s):
Dr. Tara Dumas

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Included in

Psychology Commons