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A Structural Model of the Substance Use Pathways Among Minority Youth

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Objective: To evaluate the substance use pathways of minority adolescents with a structural equation modeling (SEM) based on the social ecological model. Method: Seven hundred ninety adolescents completed the baseline survey questionnaire for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention's Mentoring and Family Strengthening Initiative. The exogenous variables were family supervision, family involvement, and social support, whereas self-control, school connectedness, and substance use served as the endogenous variables. Results: The following significant direct effects were found: family involvement to self-control; self-control and social support to school connectedness; school connectedness to substance use. Conclusions: These findings provide empirical evidence that family protective factors can significantly influence adolescents' substance use and should be adopted into substance use prevention interventions.

Keywords: family protective factors; social ecological model; substance use

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Public and Community Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD. 2: The McFarland Institute, Silver Spring, MD. 3: Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, CSAP, Rockville MD.

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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