The study, of 5,500 seventh- and eighth-graders at 16 California schools, found that young Hispanic adolescents were more likely than other students to have ever used alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana. Asian students, meanwhile, had the lowest rates of substance use compared with Hispanic, white and African American students.
Moreover, the study found that some of the factors that seemed to influence kids' odds of substance use also varied by race and ethnicity.
Among Hispanic youth, it was personal factors that were linked to the risk of substance use -- including their confidence in their ability to "say no" and whether they believed drinking, smoking and drug use had more negative consequences.
In contrast, a wider range of factors was linked to Asian teens' relatively low rates of substance use -- not only those same personal-level factors but also respect for their parents and lower rates of substance use among their older siblings and peers.
The findings point to some important issues that could be addressed in substance-use prevention programs for middle school students, according to Regina A. Shih, Ph.D., and colleagues at the research organization RAND Corporation.
"Most interventions haven't really been tailored to be culturally appropriate," Shih explained. For example, "skills training," where kids learn how to resist pressure to smoke, drink or use drugs, could help address one of the personal factors that was connected to Hispanic students' higher rates of substance use.
Similarly, interventions that encourage positive parent-child communication and boost kids' sense of responsibility to their parents might help maintain lower rates of substance use -- and could be particularly effective for young Asian teens.
Shih said, however, that the researchers are not suggesting that such targeted efforts only be offered to students of certain ethnicities -- but that they could be widely applied in prevention programs to help the broadest range of kids possible. Many existing interventions target these types of personal factors and address adolescent and parent communication. "It is important for parents to be aware that many youth initiate substance use during the middle school years, and parents can help their teen make healthier choices by monitoring their activities and talking with them about these issues," Shih said.
Of all students in the study, 22 percent said they had ever used alcohol, 10 percent admitted to smoking at some point, and 7 percent reported marijuana use. In general, the odds of substance use were highest among Hispanic students, lowest among Asians and not statistically different between white and African American students.
When it came to drinking, for example, 26 percent of Hispanic students said they had ever tried alcohol, versus 21 percent of black students, 18 percent of whites and just below 10 percent of Asians.
When the researchers accounted for several other factors -- including gender and students' family structures -- Hispanic middle schoolers still had a higher probability, and Asian students still had a lower probability, of ever using cigarettes, alcohol or marijuana, compared with white students.
Using this large longitudinal sample, Shih's team will be able to continue to follow young adolescents over time to see which personal, family and school factors seem to predict the initiation or worsening of teens' smoking, drinking or drug use.
This study was funded by a diversity supplement and is part of a larger intervention project funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (led by Dr. Elizabeth D'Amico).
Shih, R. A., Miles, J. N. V., Tucker, J. S., Zhou, A. J., & D'Amico, E. J. (September 2010). Racial/Ethnic Differences in Adolescent Substance Use: Mediation by Individual, Family, and School Factors. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 71 (5), 640-651.
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine