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NCJ Number: 136136 Find in a Library
Title: Theoretical Explanations of Race Differences in Heroin Use (From Advances in Criminological Theory, Volume 2, P 87-113, 1990, William S Laufer and Freda Adler, eds. -- See NCJ-136131)
Author(s): J Covington
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: Transaction Publishers
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Sale Source: Transaction Publishers
Rutgers-the State University
140 West Ethel Road
Units L-M
Piscataway, NJ 08854
United States of America
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Personal interviews were conducted with 204 black and 168 white heroin addicts entering publicly-funded treatment programs in Miami, Los Angeles, and Detroit during 1975-1976 to evaluate race differences in heroin use.
Abstract: Most respondents were enrolled in two types of treatment programs, methadone maintenance and drug-free therapeutic communities. Many heroin users came from low-income backgrounds, although this was more marked among black respondents. Blacks reported that both their mothers and fathers had significantly less education than was the case for their white counterparts. Blacks were also more likely to have been raised in an urban environment. Regression analysis indicated that social disorganization or social bond predictors had a notable impact on offense levels among blacks, while they had no impact on criminality among whites. Blacks who experiences reduced family and school supervision as juveniles reported significantly higher crime rates than those who did not. In contrast, measures of weakened supervision and detachment from family and school had no impact on whites. White heroin users reported earlier experimentation with illegal drugs, including heroin, than blacks. Social class of origin and access to legal income sources had no effect in criminality for either group. The fact that most black and white heroin users were unemployed at the time of the survey and reported unstable work histories may have accounted for this finding. A review of the literature on social disorganization, social bond, social learning and differential association, and neutralization theories is presented. 44 references, 1 note, and 3 tables
Main Term(s): Black/White Crime Comparisons; Drug abuse
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; California; Crime causes theory; Florida; Heroin; Michigan; Race-crime relationships; Social bond theory
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