U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Predictors of Adolescent Drug Use: Differences by Sex and Race

NCJ Number
N Graham
Date Published
55 pages
Data obtained from a sample of 1,247 sixth through ninth grade students at four public schools in Charleston, South Carolina, were used to examine the relationship between known risk factors for adolescent drug use and gender and race differences. The sample was 66 percent black.
The study combined a cross-sectional research design with data at two points in time. The findings showed that the observed gender effect on drug use was mediated by risk factors such as rebellious behavior, attitudes favoring drug use, and grade point average. However, this mediating effect was not found for the relationship of race to drug use; instead, race was found to be a significant predictor of drug use even after controlling for known risk factors. The author notes that these findings indicate there may be other factors, correlated with race but not included in this study, which would explain the effect of race on drug use. The results supported several hypotheses: that males are more likely to exhibit pro-drug attitudes, rebellious behavior, socialized aggression, and peer drug modeling; that whites are higher than blacks on peer drug modeling and pro-drug use attitudes; and that whites are lower than blacks on self-esteem. Future research planned by this author would add 11 other dependent measures into the equations and will assess whether the potency of various risk factors differs by gender and race. 6 tables and 73 references


No download available