Exposure to substance and current substance among school-going adolescents in Timor-Leste

Abigail Esinam ADADE, Kenneth Owusu ANSAH*, Nutifafa Eugene Yaw DEY, Francis ARTHUR-HOLMES, Henry Ofori DUAH, Agbadi AGBADI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Few studies have examined how exposure to substance influences adolescent’s use of substance in Timor-Leste. We assessed this relationship using nationally representative data from Timor-Leste to address this gap. Data was pulled from the 2015 Timor-Leste Global school-based student health survey. Data of students aged 13-17years (N = 3700) from class 7–11 across schools in Timor-Leste were analyzed for this study. Second-hand smoking exposure (AOR = 1.57 [1.31, 1.89] and parental tobacco use, AOR = 1.94 [1.54, 2.44]) was significantly related to in-school adolescent’s current use of substance after adjusting for covariates. Current substance use was also positively associated with being male, being in class 10–12, and being food insecure and negatively associated with having at least three close friends and benefiting from parental supervision. To reduce substance use among in-school adolescents, policymakers must consider the inclusion of all models in the social learning environment of adolescents in Timor-Leste.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0000797
Number of pages16
JournalPLOS Global Public Health
Issue number8
Early online date4 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

We appreciate the WHO for making the dataset used in this study publicly and freely available. We are grateful to the Research Empowerment Network (REN) for the training support in data management and academic writing.


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