Advertisement

Tracking Adolescents With Global Positioning System-Enabled Cell Phones to Study Contextual Exposures and Alcohol and Marijuana Use: A Pilot Study

      Abstract

      Purpose

      Measuring activity spaces, places adolescents spend time, provides information about relations between contextual exposures and risk behaviors. We studied whether contextual exposures in adolescents' activity spaces differ from contextual risks present in residential contexts and examined relationships between contextual exposures in activity spaces and alcohol/marijuana use.

      Methods

      Adolescents (N = 18) aged 16–17 years carried global positioning system (GPS)-enabled smartphones for 1 week, with locations tracked. Activity spaces were created by connecting global positioning system points sequentially and adding buffers. Contextual exposure data (e.g., alcohol outlets) were connected to routes. Adolescents completed texts regarding behaviors.

      Results

      Adolescent activity spaces intersected 24.3 census tracts and contained nine times more alcohol outlets than that of residential census tracts. Outlet exposure in activity spaces was related to drinking. Low-socioeconomic status exposure was related to marijuana use.

      Conclusions

      Findings suggest substantial differences between activity spaces and residential contexts and suggest that activity spaces are relevant for adolescent risk behaviors.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of Adolescent Health
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Voas R.B.
        • Kelley-Baker T.
        Licensing teenagers: Nontraffic risks and benefits in the transition to driving status.
        Traffic Inj Prev. 2008; 9: 88-97
        • Basta L.A.
        • Richmond T.S.
        • Wiebe D.J.
        Neighborhoods, daily activities, and measuring health risks experienced in urban environments.
        Social Sci Med. 2010; 71: 1943-1950
        • Kwan M.P.
        The uncertain geographic context problem.
        Ann Assoc Am Geogr. 2012; 102: 958-968
        • Gesler W.M.
        • Meade M.S.
        Locational and population factors in health care-seeking behavior in Savannah, Georgia.
        Health Serv Res. 1988; 23: 443-462
        • Kirchner T.R.
        • Cantrell J.
        • Anesetti-Rothermel A.
        • et al.
        Geospatial exposure to point-of-sale tobacco real-time craving and smoking-cessation outcomes.
        Am J Prev Med. 2013; 45: 379-385
        • Zenk S.N.
        • Schulz A.J.
        • Matthews S.A.
        • et al.
        Activity space environment and dietary and physical activity behaviors: A pilot study.
        Health and Place. 2011; 17: 1150-1161
        • Christian W.J.
        Using geospatial technologies to explore activity-based retail food environments.
        Spat Spatio-temporal Epidemiol. 2012; 3: 287-295
        • Wiehe S.E.
        • Kwan M.P.
        • Wilson J.
        • et al.
        Adolescent health-risk behavior and community disorder.
        PLoS One. 2013; 8: e77667
        • Epstein D.H.
        • Tyburski M.
        • Craig I.M.
        • et al.
        Real-time tracking of neighborhood surroundings and mood in urban drug misusers: Application of a new method to study behavior in its geographical context.
        Drug Alcohol Depend. 2014; 134: 22-29
        • Bureau UC
        2013 American Community Survey.
        2013 (Available at:) (Accessed February 5, 2015)