Mon09252017

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Teen Drug Behaviors

Ethnic and gender differences and similarities in teen drug behaviors

A study examined teen drug behaviors and relationships among ethnicity, gender, drug use, and resistance to drug offers in a sample of 2,622 African American, Mexican American, and White American seventh graders.

Findings included: first, the adolescents did not possess large or sophisticated repertoires of drug resistance strategies. Second, most offers came from acquaintances in contrast to data on older adolescents where offers generally come from intimate friends. Third, ethnicity had significant effects on use and the offer process.

Mexican Americans received more offers, used more drugs, and were more likely to be offered drugs by peers, family members and at parties. European Americans were more likely to receive drug offers from acquaintances and at friends' homes and on the street. African Americans were more likely to receive offers from dating partners and parents, and in the park, and were more likely to resist offers of drugs-using explanations.

Fourth, gender significantly affected teen drug behaviors. Males were more at risk for offers and use at a younger age. Offers of drugs to males were more likely to come from parents or other males, while offers to females were more likely to come from other females or dating partners. Males were also more likely to receive drug offers that appealed to their social standing or self-image whereas females received either simple offers or those that minimize effects. Finally, offers of drugs to males were more likely to be made in public, while those to females were more likely to occur in private.

These teen drug behaviors were provided by the National Institute of Drug Abuse

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