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Influence of Labor Market and Educational Experiences on Drug Use and Violence Among Inner City Puerto Rican Adolescents (Summary)

NCJ Number
Date Published
9 pages
This is a summary of a paper that examined the influence of labor market and educational experiences on drug use and violence among inner city Puerto Rican adolescents.
The paper attempts to determine the influence of parental socioeconomic status and educational and labor market experiences on violence and substance use among Puerto Rican adolescents living in a marginal area of New York City. The research considered two causal models: one in which substance use mediated the influence of socioeconomic factors on violence and one in which the violence was the mediator. Data were drawn from the Puerto Rican Adolescent Survey, a two-wave panel survey (1986 and 1987) of a probability sample of the South Bronx's Puerto Rican male adolescent population ages 12-19 (N = 1170). One parent was also interviewed in the first wave. Violence had strong effects on drug use. Grade point average, parental socioeconomic variables, family income level, and income source had weak or no effects. The findings supported policies that emphasized improving adolescents' educational achievement (e.g., preventing dropout) as a means of reducing delinquency. Findings also replicated the robust effects of peer deviance and family socialization. In sum, programs to help marginal youth avoid dysfunctional behaviors would do well to consider and build interventions around socioeconomic factors, but social-psychological milieus cannot be ignored. Tables

Date Published: January 1, 1999