Substance Use Attitudes among Urban Black Adolescents: The Role of Parent, Peer, and Cultural Factors

  • Scyatta A. Wallace
  • Celia B. Fisher
Original Paper


This study examined the influence of perceived parental, peer, and cultural factors on Black American adolescent attitudes toward substance use. One-hundred-eight Black American youth (grades 9–12) from economically disadvantaged urban neighborhoods of New York, completed self-report measures on: (a) parent-child involvement, parental supervision, and parent attitudes toward high risk behaviors; (b) peer bonds and peer attitudes toward high risk behaviors; and (c) ethnic identity, parental racial socialization, and extended family support. Youth disapproval of substance use was positively associated with higher perceived levels of peer and parental disapproval of high risk behaviors, parental supervision, and ethnic identity. Youth who reported parental messages about racial discrimination without balanced parental messages about racial pride and racial equality were more likely to approve substance use.


Substance use prevention Adolescence Ethnic minority youth 



This research was supported in part by a grant from the Center for Ethics Education, Fordham University. This paper is based on a doctoral dissertation completed by the first author. The authors would like to acknowledge the teachers and community leaders who provided assistance with the research and the generosity of youth who participated in this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Preventive Medicine and Community HealthState University of New York Downstate Medical CenterBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyCenter for Ethics Education, Fordham UniversityBronxUSA

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