Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hispanic kids show greater risk of substance use, study suggests

Date:
September 1, 2010
Source:
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Summary:
Hispanic middle school students may be more likely to smoke, drink or use marijuana than their peers of other races and ethnicities, whereas Asian students seem to have the lowest risk, according to new research.

Hispanic middle school students may be more likely to smoke, drink or use marijuana than their peers of other races and ethnicities, whereas Asian students seem to have the lowest risk, according to new research in the September issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Related Articles


The study, of 5,500 seventh- and eighth-graders at 16 California schools, found that young Hispanic adolescents were more likely than other students to have ever used alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana. Asian students, meanwhile, had the lowest rates of substance use compared with Hispanic, white and African American students.

Moreover, the study found that some of the factors that seemed to influence kids' odds of substance use also varied by race and ethnicity.

Among Hispanic youth, it was personal factors that were linked to the risk of substance use -- including their confidence in their ability to "say no" and whether they believed drinking, smoking and drug use had more negative consequences.

In contrast, a wider range of factors was linked to Asian teens' relatively low rates of substance use -- not only those same personal-level factors but also respect for their parents and lower rates of substance use among their older siblings and peers.

The findings point to some important issues that could be addressed in substance-use prevention programs for middle school students, according to Regina A. Shih, Ph.D., and colleagues at the research organization RAND Corporation.

"Most interventions haven't really been tailored to be culturally appropriate," Shih explained. For example, "skills training," where kids learn how to resist pressure to smoke, drink or use drugs, could help address one of the personal factors that was connected to Hispanic students' higher rates of substance use.

Similarly, interventions that encourage positive parent-child communication and boost kids' sense of responsibility to their parents might help maintain lower rates of substance use -- and could be particularly effective for young Asian teens.

Shih said, however, that the researchers are not suggesting that such targeted efforts only be offered to students of certain ethnicities -- but that they could be widely applied in prevention programs to help the broadest range of kids possible. Many existing interventions target these types of personal factors and address adolescent and parent communication. "It is important for parents to be aware that many youth initiate substance use during the middle school years, and parents can help their teen make healthier choices by monitoring their activities and talking with them about these issues," Shih said.

Of all students in the study, 22 percent said they had ever used alcohol, 10 percent admitted to smoking at some point, and 7 percent reported marijuana use. In general, the odds of substance use were highest among Hispanic students, lowest among Asians and not statistically different between white and African American students.

When it came to drinking, for example, 26 percent of Hispanic students said they had ever tried alcohol, versus 21 percent of black students, 18 percent of whites and just below 10 percent of Asians.

When the researchers accounted for several other factors -- including gender and students' family structures -- Hispanic middle schoolers still had a higher probability, and Asian students still had a lower probability, of ever using cigarettes, alcohol or marijuana, compared with white students.

Using this large longitudinal sample, Shih's team will be able to continue to follow young adolescents over time to see which personal, family and school factors seem to predict the initiation or worsening of teens' smoking, drinking or drug use.

This study was funded by a diversity supplement and is part of a larger intervention project funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (led by Dr. Elizabeth D'Amico).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shih, R. A., Miles, J. N. V., Tucker, J. S., Zhou, A. J., & D'Amico, E. J. Racial/Ethnic Differences in Adolescent Substance Use: Mediation by Individual, Family, and School Factors. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 2010; 71 (5), 640-651 [link]

Cite This Page:

Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. "Hispanic kids show greater risk of substance use, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100901072901.htm>.
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. (2010, September 1). Hispanic kids show greater risk of substance use, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100901072901.htm
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. "Hispanic kids show greater risk of substance use, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100901072901.htm (accessed April 24, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, April 24, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Judge OKs 65-Year Deal Over NFL Concussions

Judge OKs 65-Year Deal Over NFL Concussions

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) A judge has approved a potential $1 billion plan to resolve thousands of NFL concussion lawsuits filed by retired players. The NFL expects 6,000 of nearly 20,000 retired players to suffer from Alzheimer&apos;s disease or moderate dementia someday.(April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research Says Complex Tools Might Not Be 'Our Thing' Anymore

Research Says Complex Tools Might Not Be 'Our Thing' Anymore

Newsy (Apr. 21, 2015) The use of complex tools has often been seen as a defining characteristic of humanity, but that notion is now in question. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins