Investigating ethnic differences in adolescent alcohol use and peer norms using semi-continuous latent growth models

Scott R. Weaver, JeeWon Cheong, David Mackinnon, Mary Ann Pentz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aims: To investigate whether ethnic differences in vulnerability to peer norms supportive of alcohol use is a viable, partial explanation for the ethnic differences in reported prevalence and amount of alcohol use during high school. Methods: Survey data from a sample of 680 adolescents from Project STAR (Students Taught Awareness and Resistance) of the Midwestern Prevention Project were used. Hypotheses were tested using sequential, semi-continuous growth curve models. Results: Relative to Black adolescents, White adolescents reported greater peer alcohol use during middle school and were much more likely to consume alcohol during high school. General peer norms in seventh grade and middle school growth in alcohol use norms among close friends was predictive of a greater propensity to consume alcohol in ninth grade among White adolescents. Conclusion: Lower peer norms for alcohol use among Black adolescents might better account for differences between Black and White adolescents than the possibility that White adolescents are more vulnerable to peer norms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberagr034
Pages (from-to)620-626
Number of pages7
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Volume46
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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