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09-06-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 8/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 8/2020

Substance Use Profiles Among Urban Adolescents: The Role of Family-Based Adversities

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 8/2020
Elizabeth I. Johnson, Jennifer E. Copp, Anneliese C. Bolland, John M. Bolland
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The purpose of this study is to advance our understanding of family-based adversities and adolescent well-being by examining variability in substance use profiles among urban, low-income and predominantly African American adolescents (n = 2858). Latent class analysis and regressions were used to identify the nature and correlates of heterogeneity in substance use patterns among adolescents in the Mobile Youth Survey (MYS). Analyses revealed the presence of four underlying subgroups of youth: non-users (48.4%), alcohol users (17.6%), alcohol and marijuana users (31.6%), and polysubstance users (2.5%). Membership in classes varied by age and gender, with older youth and males being more likely to belong to groups characterized by the use of multiple substances. Youth who reported that someone in their household had been arrested were more likely to belong to one of the substance using groups than the non-use group, and youth who reported not having a father figure were more likely to belong to groups characterized by the use of multiple substances relative to the non-use group. Youth who reported living with two biological parents were less likely to belong to either the alcohol or the alcohol and marijuana classes than the non-use group. Results further indicated that youth in classes characterized by the use of multiple substances were more likely to exhibit externalizing problems and internalizing distress than other youth. Findings underscore the importance of identifying heterogeneity even in seemingly homogeneous samples and suggest a number of new directions for future research.

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