The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence, patterns and predictors (individual, social, cultural, and environmental) of illicit drug use and binge drinking in a cohort of Latino migrant men (LMM) in a new receiving community.
Black adolescents in the US are less likely to use alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco compared with non-Hispanic Whites, but little is known about the consistency of these racial/ethnic differences in substance use across the lifecourse. Understanding lifecourse patterning of substance use is critical to inform prevention and intervention efforts. Data were drawn from four waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health; Wave 1 (mean age=16): N=14,101; Wave 4 (mean age=29): N=11,365). Outcomes included alcohol (including at-risk drinking, defined as 5+/4+ drinks per drinking occasion or 14+/7+ drinks per week on average for men and women, respectively), cigarette, and marijuana use in 30-day/past-year. Random effects models stratified by gender tested differences-in-differences for wave by race interactions, controlling for age, parents’ highest education/income, public assistance, and urbanicity. Results indicate that for alcohol, Whites were more likely to use alcohol and engage in at-risk alcohol use at all waves.
Fifty percent of adolescents have tried an illicit drug and 70% have tried alcohol by the end of high school, with even higher rates among multiracial youth. Ethnic identity is a protective factor against substance use for minority groups. However, little is known about the mechanisms that facilitate its protective effects, and even less is known about this relationship for multiracial youth. The purpose of the present study was to examine the protective effect of ethnic identity on substance use and to determine whether this relationship operated indirectly through self-esteem, a strong predictor of substance use for among adolescent populations. Participants included 468 multiracial youth in grades six through 12 (53% female). The results found that ethnic identity was indeed related to substance use, partially through changes in self-esteem. Findings from this study contribute to our understanding and development of models of risk and protection for an understudied population.