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Objective: To examine perceived discrimination and substance use among Latino high school students. Methods: Latino 9th graders (N 1332) completed self-report measures of perceived discrimination and substance use behavior. Results:
Perceived discrimination was associated with lifetime use measures of smoking (OR 1.73, P < 0.01), alcohol (OR 1.53, P < 0.01), marijuana (OR 1.70, P < 0.01), and inhalants (OR 1.50, P < 0.05); and past 30 day measures of smoking (OR 2.54, P < 0.01), alcohol (OR 1.63, P <
0.01), marijuana (OR 1.95, P < 0.01), and inhalants (OR 1.64, P < 0.01), and binge drinking (OR 1.84, P < 0.01). Conclusions: Latino adolescents who have higher perceptions of discrimination are at risk for substance use. Interventions to help Latino adolescents cope
with feelings of discrimination may be a useful addition to substance use prevention programs.
1 Doctoral Student, Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Alhambra CA.
Publication date: November 1, 2009
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