Authoritative Parenting Behaviors and Marijuana Use Based on Age Among a National Sample of Hispanic Adolescents


Although numerous prevention efforts have been implemented, marijuana remains the most commonly used illicit substance among Hispanic adolescents nationwide. We sought to determine the influence authoritative parenting behaviors have on lifetime, past year, and past month marijuana use among Hispanic adolescents overall, and then based on age (i.e., 12–13, 14–15, and 16–17 years). We conducted a secondary analysis of the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (N = 3457). We performed a series of logistic regression analyses. Nearly one-fifth (19.5%) of Hispanic participants reported lifetime marijuana use, 14.5% reported past year use, and 7.5% reported past month use. Results indicated that Hispanic adolescents who are at significantly increased risk for reporting lifetime, past year, and past month marijuana use, were those who reported that their parents seldom or never performed the following behaviors: (1) checked if their homework was done, (2) helped them with their homework, (3) limited the amount of TV they watched, (4) told them they did a good job, and (5) told them they were proud of them. There were no relationships between adolescents’ lifetime, past year, or past month marijuana use and whether their parents made their youth do chores or limited their time out on a school night. Regarding age, while results indicated that most authoritative parenting behaviors have a significant effect against marijuana use, the protective effect diminished with age, with the exception of the relationship between adolescents’ past month marijuana use and whether their parents checked to see if their homework was done. Substance use prevention programs for this population should start in early adolescence and involve and educate parents on adopting authoritative parenting behaviors.

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Correspondence to Ashley L. Merianos.

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Merianos, A.L., King, K.A., Vidourek, R.A. et al. Authoritative Parenting Behaviors and Marijuana Use Based on Age Among a National Sample of Hispanic Adolescents. J Primary Prevent 41, 51–69 (2020).

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  • Marijuana use
  • Hispanic
  • Adolescence
  • Parenting behaviors