Substance Abuse and Drug Courts: The Role of Social Bonds in Juvenile Drug Courts

Amna Saddik Gilmore, Nancy Rodriguez, Vincent Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


By drawing on social control theory, this study examines the effect of juvenile drug court treatment on the desistence of delinquent behavior in Maricopa County, Arizona. Bonds to family members, school, and peers are included in the analyses to assess how they influence offenders’ treatment progress (i.e., delinquency and drug use) and program completion. Special analytical focus is placed on the additive and interactive effects such bonds have on juvenile drug court success. Results indicate social bonds (e.g., parents’ substance abuse, siblings’ substance abuse, peers’ substance abuse, and gang membership) play a significant role in the desistance of delinquent behavior and program completion. Based on these findings, the effect of juvenile court programs on delinquency and drug use will largely depend on their ability to address offenders’ weak social bonds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-315
Number of pages29
JournalYouth Violence and Juvenile Justice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • drug court
  • juvenile
  • social bonds
  • substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Law


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