Adolescents in treatment for alcohol/other drug problems: Profiles associated with psychological attributes and ethnic identity

W. H. James, J. Ruiz-Molleston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Although often unreported, clinical practitioners and researchers support the notion that a significant proportion of adolescents in treatment for alcohol/other drug abuse may have personal pathology associated with psychological attributes (Luthar and D'Avanzo, 1999). In addition, there has been limited research reported on ethnic identity serving as a moderator of psychosocial risk and drug use in adolescents (Scheier, Botvin, Diaz, and Ifill-Williams, 1997). This pilot study examined psychological attributes related to alcohol/other drug use and the influence of ethnic identity for White and Ethnic adolescents in treatment. This study uses data from a sample of 127 adolescents referred to an outpatient treatment center who were comprehensively assessed at the time of admission into an intensive outpatient program for drug use. The study results indicate: (1) there were overall differences associated with psychological attributes for White and Ethnic adolescents; (2) the scores on alienation, social nonconformity, personal discomfort, and self-expression scales were correlated with drug use at a higher rate for Ethnic adolescents when compared to Whites; (3) the scores for Whites were higher on the defensiveness scale when compared to Ethnic adolescents; and (4) with some modification of assessment procedures, these profiles can be used by providers for the development of treatment plans for adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-63
Number of pages19
JournalAlcoholism Treatment Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001
Externally publishedYes



  • Adolescents
  • Alcohol/other drugs
  • Cultural identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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