The influence of neighborhood context on exposure to and use of substances among Urban African American children

Michele Cooley-Strickland, Lindsay Bynum, Katherine Otte, Lingqi Tang, Robert S. Griffin, Tanya J. Quille, Deborah Furr-Holden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Substance use is a widespread problem among adolescents. According to the 2008 Monitoring the Future survey, almost half (45 %) of American youth have smoked cigarettes by the end of high school, 21 % of whom had tried them before the beginning of eighth grade; 72 % have consumed alcohol by the end of high school, with 39 % having done so by eighth grade; and half (47 %) of American children have tried an illicit drug by the time they leave high school (Johnston et al. 2009). However, most of the research on adolescent substance use has been conducted on primarily Caucasian samples (Lambert et al. 2004), leaving a paucity of research on substance use among ethnic minority adolescents (De La Rosa et al. 1993; Wallace et al. 1999). It is important to investigate substance use among ethnic minorities because racial and ethnic minority groups exhibit disproportionately adverse social outcomes associated with drug use, including poverty, violence, crime and arrest (REF). Prior research has shown that African American adolescents are less likely to smoke cigarettes (Felton et al. 1999; Kann et al. 1996) and consume alcohol (Blum et al. 2000) than their Caucasian peers. However, prevalence rates for drug use initiation by race/ethnicity indicate that while African Americans are less likely than Caucasians to initiate smoking tobacco and drinking by age 13, they are at greater risk of initiating cocaine and marijuana use at earlier ages (i.e., 17.2 %, 11.1 %, and 1.3 % for smoking, marijuana, and cocaine initiation before 13 years of age respectively (Kann et al. 1996).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDrug Use Trajectories Among Minority Youth
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages37
ISBN (Electronic)9789401774918
ISBN (Print)9789401774895
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology
  • General Medicine
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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