Exploring gender differences in the vulnerability towards drug abuse among adolescents in Malaysia

Wan Shahrazad Wan Sulaiman*    -  (Scopus ID 36609474500), Centre for Research in Psychology and Human Well-Being, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Mohammad Rahim Kamaluddin    -  (Scopus ID 56131703800) Centre for Research in Psychology and Human Well-Being, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Ezarina Zakaria    -  (Scopus ID 56287502900) Centre for Research in Psychology and Human Well-Being, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Fauziah Ibrahim    -  (Scopus ID 36607826700) Centre for Research in Psychology and Human Well-Being, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Nazirah Hassan    -  (Scopus ID 57211334200) Centre for Research in Psychology and Human Well-Being, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Jamiah Manap    -  (Scopus ID 13408463000) Centre for Research in Psychology and Human Well-Being, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Salina Nen    -  (Scopus ID 54584027000) Centre for Research in Psychology and Human Well-Being, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Zainah Ahmad Zamani    -  (Scopus ID 36609739900) Centre for Research in Psychology and Human Well-Being, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
Fatimah Yusooff  -  (Scopus ID 35095807900) Open University Malaysia, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

(*) Corresponding Author

Protective and risk factors are important in reducing vulnerability towards drug abuse among adolescents. This study, therefore, aims to explore gender differences in such vulnerability in high-risk areas identified by the National Anti-Drugs Agency Malaysia. The study employs a survey design, with questionnaires distributed to 213 adolescents who fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The researchers developed the questionnaire and comprised five parts: the demographic profile, interpersonal conflict, negative emotions, social support, and mental health. The data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results show no significant gender differences in interpersonal conflict, negative emotions, and mental health. However, there was a significant difference in social support based on gender, with females showing a higher mean than males. These findings imply the importance of identifying the relevant factors to prevent early involvement in drug abuse.

Keywords: gender; vulnerability; drug abuse

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