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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 203138 Find in a Library
Title: Descriptive Longitudinal Study of Perceived Family Stability and Substance Use with Low Income African-American Adolescents
Journal: Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse  Volume:2  Issue:2  Dated:2003  Pages:1-15
Author(s): Chris Stewart Ph.D.
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the importance of the quality of the African-American adolescent-parent relationship regarding substance use.
Abstract: A search of the literature reveals that little is reported in terms of the relationship between family stability and adolescent substance use. The research discussing family structure does not provide information concerning change throughout an adolescent’s life. Rapidly changing structure or environment may have a significant impact on the adolescent’s decision to become involved with drugs. A multi-stage cluster sample was employed to gain representative government-assisted households from neighborhoods in a southern city. A survey was repeated every year for 4 years with the first wave sampled in 1997 and continued through 2000. The total sample was 1,313 adolescents. The survey was conducted to determine adolescents’ perceptions concerning many areas, such as family characteristics, perception of self, significant relationships, and risk-taking behaviors. The results indicate that the quality of the adolescent-parent relationship is more important than either the structure or the stability of the parental relationship. The lack of significant results concerning family structure combined with the rather significant negative correlations between the warmth of relationship variables and substance use support such a conclusion. The warmer the adolescent felt about the relationship with their mother, the less likely they were to report using substances. A warm relationship with the father was a protective factor for crack and alcohol. The results also suggest that there is some contribution of family stability towards the adolescent’s decision to use tobacco, but only for the older group of adolescents. It might be worthwhile to focus interventions on improving the quality of relationships between children and parents rather than determining which individuals might provide superior care. Primary caretaker involvement, even if that figure does change frequently, is an important component for prevention of substance use and it should be incorporated in existing programs. 8 tables, 34 references
Main Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Family structure
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Domestic relations; Family histories; Home environment; Parent-Child Relations; Parental influence
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