Exploring racial/ethnic differences in substance use: A preliminary theory-based investigation with juvenile justice-involved youth

Sarah Feldstein Ewing, Kamilla L. Venner, Hilary K. Mead, Angela D. Bryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Racial/ethnic differences in representation, substance use, and its correlates may be linked to differential long-term health outcomes for justice-involved youth. Determining the nature of these differences is critical to informing more efficacious health prevention and intervention efforts. In this study, we employed a theory-based approach to evaluate the nature of these potential differences. Specifically, we hypothesized that (1) racial/ethnic minority youth would be comparatively overrepresented in the juvenile justice system, (2) the rates of substance use would be different across racial/ethnic groups, and (3) individual-level risk factors would be better predictors of substance use for Caucasian youth than for youth of other racial/ethnic groups.Methods: To evaluate these hypotheses, we recruited a large, diverse sample of justice-involved youth in the southwest (N = 651; M age = 15.7, SD = 1.05, range = 14-18 years); 66% male; 41% Hispanic, 24% African American, 15% Caucasian, 11% American Indian/Alaska Native). All youth were queried about their substance use behavior (alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, illicit hard drug use) and individual-level risk factors (school involvement, employment, self-esteem, level of externalizing behaviors).Results: As predicted, racial/ethnic minority youth were significantly overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. Additionally, Caucasian youth reported the greatest rates of substance use and substance-related individual-level risk factors. In contrast, African American youth showed the lowest rates for substance use and individual risk factors. Contrary to predictions, a racial/ethnic group by risk factor finding emerged for only one risk factor and one substance use category.Conclusions: This research highlights the importance of more closely examining racial/ethnic differences in justice populations, as there are likely to be differing health needs, and subsequent treatment approaches, by racial/ethnic group for justice-involved youth. Additionally, this study highlights the need for timely, empirically supported (developmentally and cross-culturally) substance abuse interventions for all justice-involved youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number71
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Volume11
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 16 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Social Justice
Ethnic Groups
African Americans
Health
North American Indians
Street Drugs
Cannabis
Hispanic Americans
Self Concept
Substance-Related Disorders
Tobacco
Alcohols

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Juvenile justice
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Risk factors
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Exploring racial/ethnic differences in substance use : A preliminary theory-based investigation with juvenile justice-involved youth. / Feldstein Ewing, Sarah; Venner, Kamilla L.; Mead, Hilary K.; Bryan, Angela D.

In: BMC Pediatrics, Vol. 11, 71, 16.08.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{60c257bd3f39430186099ec39c6d53dc,
title = "Exploring racial/ethnic differences in substance use: A preliminary theory-based investigation with juvenile justice-involved youth",
abstract = "Background: Racial/ethnic differences in representation, substance use, and its correlates may be linked to differential long-term health outcomes for justice-involved youth. Determining the nature of these differences is critical to informing more efficacious health prevention and intervention efforts. In this study, we employed a theory-based approach to evaluate the nature of these potential differences. Specifically, we hypothesized that (1) racial/ethnic minority youth would be comparatively overrepresented in the juvenile justice system, (2) the rates of substance use would be different across racial/ethnic groups, and (3) individual-level risk factors would be better predictors of substance use for Caucasian youth than for youth of other racial/ethnic groups.Methods: To evaluate these hypotheses, we recruited a large, diverse sample of justice-involved youth in the southwest (N = 651; M age = 15.7, SD = 1.05, range = 14-18 years); 66{\%} male; 41{\%} Hispanic, 24{\%} African American, 15{\%} Caucasian, 11{\%} American Indian/Alaska Native). All youth were queried about their substance use behavior (alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, illicit hard drug use) and individual-level risk factors (school involvement, employment, self-esteem, level of externalizing behaviors).Results: As predicted, racial/ethnic minority youth were significantly overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. Additionally, Caucasian youth reported the greatest rates of substance use and substance-related individual-level risk factors. In contrast, African American youth showed the lowest rates for substance use and individual risk factors. Contrary to predictions, a racial/ethnic group by risk factor finding emerged for only one risk factor and one substance use category.Conclusions: This research highlights the importance of more closely examining racial/ethnic differences in justice populations, as there are likely to be differing health needs, and subsequent treatment approaches, by racial/ethnic group for justice-involved youth. Additionally, this study highlights the need for timely, empirically supported (developmentally and cross-culturally) substance abuse interventions for all justice-involved youth.",
keywords = "Adolescent, Juvenile justice, Race/ethnicity, Risk factors, Substance use",
author = "{Feldstein Ewing}, Sarah and Venner, {Kamilla L.} and Mead, {Hilary K.} and Bryan, {Angela D.}",
year = "2011",
month = "8",
day = "16",
doi = "10.1186/1471-2431-11-71",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "11",
journal = "BMC Pediatrics",
issn = "1471-2431",
publisher = "BioMed Central",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exploring racial/ethnic differences in substance use

T2 - A preliminary theory-based investigation with juvenile justice-involved youth

AU - Feldstein Ewing, Sarah

AU - Venner, Kamilla L.

AU - Mead, Hilary K.

AU - Bryan, Angela D.

PY - 2011/8/16

Y1 - 2011/8/16

N2 - Background: Racial/ethnic differences in representation, substance use, and its correlates may be linked to differential long-term health outcomes for justice-involved youth. Determining the nature of these differences is critical to informing more efficacious health prevention and intervention efforts. In this study, we employed a theory-based approach to evaluate the nature of these potential differences. Specifically, we hypothesized that (1) racial/ethnic minority youth would be comparatively overrepresented in the juvenile justice system, (2) the rates of substance use would be different across racial/ethnic groups, and (3) individual-level risk factors would be better predictors of substance use for Caucasian youth than for youth of other racial/ethnic groups.Methods: To evaluate these hypotheses, we recruited a large, diverse sample of justice-involved youth in the southwest (N = 651; M age = 15.7, SD = 1.05, range = 14-18 years); 66% male; 41% Hispanic, 24% African American, 15% Caucasian, 11% American Indian/Alaska Native). All youth were queried about their substance use behavior (alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, illicit hard drug use) and individual-level risk factors (school involvement, employment, self-esteem, level of externalizing behaviors).Results: As predicted, racial/ethnic minority youth were significantly overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. Additionally, Caucasian youth reported the greatest rates of substance use and substance-related individual-level risk factors. In contrast, African American youth showed the lowest rates for substance use and individual risk factors. Contrary to predictions, a racial/ethnic group by risk factor finding emerged for only one risk factor and one substance use category.Conclusions: This research highlights the importance of more closely examining racial/ethnic differences in justice populations, as there are likely to be differing health needs, and subsequent treatment approaches, by racial/ethnic group for justice-involved youth. Additionally, this study highlights the need for timely, empirically supported (developmentally and cross-culturally) substance abuse interventions for all justice-involved youth.

AB - Background: Racial/ethnic differences in representation, substance use, and its correlates may be linked to differential long-term health outcomes for justice-involved youth. Determining the nature of these differences is critical to informing more efficacious health prevention and intervention efforts. In this study, we employed a theory-based approach to evaluate the nature of these potential differences. Specifically, we hypothesized that (1) racial/ethnic minority youth would be comparatively overrepresented in the juvenile justice system, (2) the rates of substance use would be different across racial/ethnic groups, and (3) individual-level risk factors would be better predictors of substance use for Caucasian youth than for youth of other racial/ethnic groups.Methods: To evaluate these hypotheses, we recruited a large, diverse sample of justice-involved youth in the southwest (N = 651; M age = 15.7, SD = 1.05, range = 14-18 years); 66% male; 41% Hispanic, 24% African American, 15% Caucasian, 11% American Indian/Alaska Native). All youth were queried about their substance use behavior (alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, illicit hard drug use) and individual-level risk factors (school involvement, employment, self-esteem, level of externalizing behaviors).Results: As predicted, racial/ethnic minority youth were significantly overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. Additionally, Caucasian youth reported the greatest rates of substance use and substance-related individual-level risk factors. In contrast, African American youth showed the lowest rates for substance use and individual risk factors. Contrary to predictions, a racial/ethnic group by risk factor finding emerged for only one risk factor and one substance use category.Conclusions: This research highlights the importance of more closely examining racial/ethnic differences in justice populations, as there are likely to be differing health needs, and subsequent treatment approaches, by racial/ethnic group for justice-involved youth. Additionally, this study highlights the need for timely, empirically supported (developmentally and cross-culturally) substance abuse interventions for all justice-involved youth.

KW - Adolescent

KW - Juvenile justice

KW - Race/ethnicity

KW - Risk factors

KW - Substance use

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80051636509&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=80051636509&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/1471-2431-11-71

DO - 10.1186/1471-2431-11-71

M3 - Article

C2 - 21846356

AN - SCOPUS:80051636509

VL - 11

JO - BMC Pediatrics

JF - BMC Pediatrics

SN - 1471-2431

M1 - 71

ER -