The role of neighborhood in urban black adolescent marijuana use

Beth A. Reboussin, Kerry M. Green, Adam J. Milam, Debra M. Furr-Holden, Renee M. Johnson, Nicholas S. Ialongo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The present study examined the influence of neighborhood factors on transitions in marijuana involvement during adolescence in a sample of primarily low-income, urban Black youth. Methods: 556 Black adolescents were interviewed annually beginning in first grade as part of a longitudinal study. Latent class analysis (LCA) was used to examine stages of marijuana involvement from 6th to 9th grades. The influence of neighborhood disorder, drug activity, violent crime, safety and disadvantage on transitions in marijuana involvement was tested using latent transition analysis (LTA). Results: There was evidence for three stages of involvement: no involvement, offered, and use and problems. Involvement increased steadily during adolescence with a slightly greater risk to transition from offers to use between 6th and 7th grades. Neighborhood disorder (AOR = 1.04, CI = 1.00, 1.08), drug activity (AOR = 1.12, CI = 1.02, 1.22) and disadvantage (AOR = 1.44, CI = 1.10, 1.92) were associated with the transition from marijuana offers to use and problems. Neighborhood disorder (AOR = 1.07, CI = 1.02, 1.11), drug activity (AOR = 1.19, CI = 1.10, 1.29) and violent crime (AOR = 1.17, CI = 1.03, 1.32) were associated with transitioning rapidly from no involvement to use and problems. Conclusions: Understanding how neighborhoods could be organized and provided with supports to discourage marijuana use and promote non-drug using behaviors should be an important goal of any prevention program in low-income, urban Black neighborhoods. Enhancing citizen participation and mobilization to address the social processes of neighborhood disorder has the potential to reduce marijuana involvement in these neighborhoods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Adolescents
  • Blacks
  • Latent class
  • Latent transition
  • Marijuana
  • Neighborhood
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of neighborhood in urban black adolescent marijuana use'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this