Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 41, Issue 11, pp 1426–1441 | Cite as

Association of Contextual Factors with Drug Use and Binge Drinking among White, Native American, and Mixed-Race Adolescents in the General Population

Empirical Research


Large-scale surveys have shown elevated risk for many indicators of substance abuse among Native American and Mixed-Race adolescents compared to other minority groups in the United States. This study examined underlying contextual factors associated with substance abuse among a nationally representative sample of White, Native American, and Mixed-Race adolescents 12–17 years of age, using combined datasets from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH 2006–2009, N = 46,675, 48.77 % female). Native American adolescents displayed the highest rate of past-month binge drinking and past-year illicit drug use (14.06 and 30.91 %, respectively). Results of a logistic regression that included seven predictors of social bonding, individual views of substance use, and delinquent peer affiliations showed that friendships with delinquent peers and negative views of substance use were associated significantly with both substance abuse outcomes among White and Mixed-Race adolescents and, to a lesser extent, Native American adolescents. The association of parental disapproval with binge drinking was stronger for White than for Native American adolescents. Greater attention to specific measures reflecting racial groups’ contextual and historical differences may be needed to delineate mechanisms that discourage substance abuse among at-risk minority adolescent populations.


Adolescents Binge drinking Contextual factors Illicit drug use Native American Mixed race 



The authors thank Drs. Michael W. Arthur and Ralph E. Folsom, Ms. Angelique Zeringue, and SAMHSA’s Jonaki Bose and Dr. Rachel N. Lipari for their assistance in obtaining the survey data files, measurement information, and feedback on early data analysis. Preparation of this article was supported by NIDA research and training grants (R01DA020922, T32DA007313) to the last author.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


  1. Arthur, M. W., Hawkins, J. D., Pollard, J. A., Catalano, R. F., & Baglioni, A. J. (2002). Measuring risk and protective factors for substance use, delinquency, and other adolescent problem behaviors: The communities that care youth survey. Evaluation Review, 26(6), 575–601.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bandura, A. (1986). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs, NY: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  3. Brook, J. E., & Brook, J. S. (2001). A developmental approach examining social and personal correlates in relation to alcohol use over time. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 149(1), 93–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention National Outcome Measures. (2012). Youth Programs Survey Form. CrossSiteEvaluation/PLI %20youth %20program %20survey %20OMB %20Approved.pdf. Accessed 15 May 2012.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008). Alcohol-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost Among American Indians and Alaska Natives-United States, 2001—2005. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 57, 938–941. Accessed 15 May 2012.
  6. Cheng, S., & Klugman, J. (2010). School racial composition and biracial adolescents’ school attachment posted in articles, identity development/psychology, new media, social science, school racial composition and biracial adolescents’ school attachment. Sociological Quarterly, 51(1), 150–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Choi, Y., Harachi, T. W., Gillmore, M. R., & Catalano, R. F. (2005). Applicability of the social development model to urban ethnic minority youth: Examine the relationship between external constraints, family, socialization, and problem behaviors. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 15(4), 505–534.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Choi, Y., Harachi, T. W., Gillmore, M. R., & Catalano, R. F. (2006). Are multiracial adolescents at greater risk? Comparisons of rates, patterns, and correlates of substance use and violence between monoracial and multiracial adolescents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76, 86–97.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Choi, Y., He, M., Herrenkohl, T. I., Catalano, R. F., & Toumbourou, J. W. (2012). Multiple identification and risks: Examination of peer factors across multiracial and single-race youth. Journal of Youth Adolescence, 41(7), 847–862. doi: 10.1007/s10964-012-9750-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Clapp, J. D., & Shillington, A. M. (2001). Environmental predictors of heavy episodic drinking events. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 27, 310–313.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Delaronde, S., Cook, M. J., Ungemack, J. A., & Stanger, B. (1999). 1997 Connecticut substance abuse prevention student survey: Educational reference groups c-e. Farmington, Connecticut: Department of Community Medicine & Health Care, University of Connecticut Health Center.Google Scholar
  12. Doyle, J. M., & Kao, G. (2007). Are racial identities of multiracial stable? Changing self-identification among single and multiple race individuals. Social Psychology Quarterly, 70(4), 405–423.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ellingsen, T. (2000). Colorful community or ethnic witches’ brew? Multiethnicity and domestic conflict during and after the cold war. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 44(2), 228–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Falk, D., Yi, H.-y., & Hiller-Sturmhöfel, S. (2008). An epidemiologic analysis of co-occurring alcohol and drug use and disorders: From the National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). Alcohol Research and Health, 31(2), 100–110.Google Scholar
  15. Floyd, L. J., Alexandre, P. K., Hedden, S. L., Lawson, A. L., & Latimer, W. W. (2010). Adolescent drug dealing and race/ethnicity: A population-based study of the differential impact of substance use on involvement in drug trade. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 36(2), 87–91.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Galliher, R. V., Evans, C. M., & Weiser, D. (2007). Social and individual predictors of substance use for Native American youth. Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, 16(3), 2–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gardner, L., & Shoemaker, D. J. (1989). Social bonding and delinquency: A comparative analysis. The Sociological Quarterly, 30(3), 481–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gfroerer, J., Bose, J., Painter, D., Jones, M., & Kennet, J. (2012). Redesigning the national survey on drug use and health. Accessed 15 April 2012.
  19. Gibbons, F., & Gerrard, M. (1995). Predicting young adults’ health risk behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(3), 505–517.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Grucza, R. A., Norberg, K. E., & Bierut, L. J. (2009). Binge drinking among youth and young adults in the United States: 1979–2006. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 48(7), 692–702.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hanley, J. A., & McNeil, B. J. (1982). The meaning and use of the area under a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. Radiology, 143, 29–36.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Harrison, R. S. (2006).Item dictionary for the 2006 sample bach harrison youth survey. _Harrison_LLC.pdf. Accessed 15 May 2012.
  23. Hawkins, J. D., Catalano, R. F., & Miller, J. Y. (1992). Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: Implications for substance abuse prevention. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 64–105.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hawkins, E. H., Cummins, L. H., & Marlatt, G. A. (2004). Preventing substance abuse in American Indian and Alaska Native youth: Promising strategies for healthier communities. Psychological Bulletin, 130(2), 304–323.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. HeavyRunner-Rioux, A. R., & Hollist, D. R. (2010). Community, family, and peer influences on alcohol, marijuana, and illicit drug use among a sample of Native American youth: An Analysis of predictive factors. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 9, 260–283.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Herman-Stahl, M. A., Krebs, C. P., Kroutil, L. A., & Heller, D. C. (2006). Risk and protective factors for nonmedical use of prescription stimulants and methamphetamine among adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 39, 374–380.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hill, D. L. (2006). Sense of belong as connectedness, American Indian worldview and mental health. Achieves of Psychiatric Nursing, 20(5), 210–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hirschi, T. (1969). Causes of delinquency. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  29. Jackson, K. F., & Lecroy, C. W. (2009). The influence of race and ethnicity on substance use and negative activity involvement among monoracial and multiracial adolescents of the southwest. Journal of Drug Education, 39(2), 195–210.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Schulenberg, J. E., & Bachman, J. G. (2006). The aims and objectives of the Monitoring the Future study and progress toward fulfilling them as of 2006 (Monitoring the Future Occasional Paper No. 65). Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research.Google Scholar
  31. Lee, C. M., Lewis, M. A., & Neighbors, C. (2009). Preliminary examination of spring break alcohol use and related consequences. Psychology of Addictive Behavior, 23(4), 689–694.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Leung, K. S., Ben Abdallah, A., Copeland, J., & Cottler, L. B (2010) Modifiable risk factors of ecstasy use: Risk perception, current dependence, perceived control, and depression. Addictive Behaviors, 35 (3), 201–208.Google Scholar
  33. Lou, E., Lalonde, R. N., & Wilson, C. (2011). Examining a multidimensional framework of racial identity across different biracial groups. Asian American Journal of Psychology, 2(2), 79–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Martino, S. C., Collins, R. L., Eillickson, P. L., Schell, T. L., & McCaffrey, D. (2006). Socio-environmental influences on adolescents’ alcohol outcome expectancies: A prospective analysis. Addiction, 101, 971–983.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Martins, S. S., Garlson, R. G., Alexandre, R. S., & Falck, R. S. (2011). Perceived risk and associated with ecstasy use: A latent class analysis approach. Addictive Behaviors, 36, 551–554.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McDowell, T., Ingoglia, L., Serizawa, T., Holland, C., Dashiell, J. W., Jr, & Stevens, C. (2005). Raising multiracial awareness in family therapy through critical conversations. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 31(4), 399–411.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McFadden, J. (2001). Intercultural marriage and family: Beyond the racial divide. The Family Journal, 9(1), 39–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Miller, J. W., Naimi, T. S., Brewer, R. D., & Jones, S. E. (2007). Binge drinking and associated health risk behaviors among high school students. Pediatrics, 119, 76–85.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. National Institute Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. (2012). Model 1: Epidemiology of alcohol problems in the United States. Epidemiology/Module1.html. Accessed 26 April 2012.
  40. National Survey on Drug Use and Health Highlights. (2009). White house fact sheet. Office of National drug control policy. Executive office of the president. Accessed 4 May 2012.
  41. Oregon Healthy Teens 2008—8th Grade: State Summary Results. (2008). Accessed 14 May 2012.
  42. Park, R. E. (1967). On social control and collective behavior. Chicago: University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  43. Parra, G. R., Krull, J. L., Sher, K. J., & Jackson, K. M. (2007). Frequency of heavy drinking and perceived peer alcohol involvement: Comparison of influence and selection mechanisms from a developmental perspective. Addictive Behaviors, 32, 2211–2225.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Paternoster, R., Brame, R., Mazerolle, P., & Piquero, A. (1998). Using the correct statistical test for the equality of regression coefficients. Criminology, 36(4), 859–865.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Payne, A. A. (2008). A multilevel analyses of the relationships among communal school organization, student bonding, and delinquency. Journal of Research in Crime, 45(4), 429–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Pedrotti, J. T., Edwards, L. M., & Lopez, S. J. (2008). Working with multiracial clients in therapy: Bridging theory, research, and practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 39(2), 192–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pemberton, M. R., Colliver, J. D., Robbins, T. M., & Gfroerer, J. C. (2012).Underage alcohol use: Findings from the 2002–2006 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Accessed 4 May 2012.
  48. Price, R. K., Risk, N. K., Wong, M. W., & Klingle, R. S. (2002). Substance use and abuse in Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs): Preliminary results from four national epidemiologic studies. Public Health Reports, 117, S39–S50.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Robbin, A. (2000). Classifying racial and ethnic group data in the United States: The politics of negotiation and accommodation. Journal of Government Information, 27, 129–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. SAMHSA. (2008). Results from the 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings. Accessed 4 May 2012.
  51. SAMHSA. (2009). National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2009 Codebook. Rockville, MD: SAMHSA.Google Scholar
  52. SAMHSA. (2010). Reliability of key measures in the national survey on drug use and health. Rockville, MD: SAMHSA.Google Scholar
  53. SAMHSA. (2011a). Table 1.20B—Illicit Drug use in lifetime, past year, and past month among persons aged 12 to 17, by demographic characteristics: Percentages, 2008 and 2009. Tab 1.11A. Accessed 10 November 2011.
  54. SAMHSA. (2011b). Table 2.38B—Alcohol use in lifetime, past year, and past month among persons aged 12 to 17, by demographic characteristics: Percentages, 2008 and 2009. Tab 2.37A. Accessed 10 November 2011.
  55. Seale, J. P., Shellenberger, S., Sanchez, N., Vogel, R. L., Villalobos, E., Girton, F. S., et al. (2010). Characteristics of problem drinking in an urban South American indigenous population. Substance Use and Misuse, 45(13), 2185–2202.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Substance Abuse and Mental Health (SAMHSA 2007) The NSDUH report: Substance Use and Substance Use Disorders among American Indians and Alaska Natives. 1 November 2011.Google Scholar
  57. Terry, R. L., & Winston, C. E. (2010). Personality characteristic adaptations: Multiracial adolescents’ patterns of racial self-identification change. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 20(2), 432–455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Udry, J. R., Li, R. M., & Hendrickson-Smith, J. (2003). Health and behavior risks of adolescents with mixed-race identity. American Journal of Public Health, 93(11), 1865–1870.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Unger, J. B., Palmer, P. H., Dent, C. W., Rohrbach, L. A., & Johnson, C. A. (2000). Ethnic differences in adolescent smoking prevalence in California: Are multi-ethnic youths at higher risk? Tobacco Control, 9 (Suppl II), ii9–ii14.Google Scholar
  60. Walls, M. L., Whitbeck, L. B., & Hoyt, D. R. (2007). Early-onset alcohol use among Native American youth: Examining female caretaker influence. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, 451–464.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wechsler, H., Dowdall, G. W., Davenport, A., & Castillo, S. (1995). Correlates of colleges student binge drinking. American Journal of Public Health, 85(7), 921–926.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wechsler, H., Lee, J. E., Kuo, M., Seibring, M., Nelson, T. F., & Lee, H. (2002). Trends in college binge drinking during a period of increased prevention efforts: Finding from 4 Harvard school of public health college alcohol study surveys: 1993–2001. Journal of American College Health, 50(5), 203–217.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wechsler, H., & Nelson, T. F. (2008). What we have learned from the Harvard school of public health college alcohol study: Focusing attention on college student alcohol consumption and the environmental conditions that promote it. Journal of Studies of Alcohol and Drugs, 69(4), 1–9.Google Scholar
  64. Wu, L. T., Woody, G. E., Yang, C., Pan, J.-J., & Blazer, D. G. (2011). Racial/Ethnic variations in substance-related disorders among adolescents in the United States. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(11), 1176–1185.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Xu, J, Kochanek K. D., Murphy S. L., & Tejada-Vera B. (2010). Deaths: Final data for 2007. Hyattsville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Center for Health Statistics. National Vital Statistics Reports, 58 (19), 1–135. Accessed 9 November 2011.
  66. Young, R., & Joe, J. R. (2009). Some thoughts about the epidemiology of alcohol and drug use among American Indian/Alaska Native populations. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 8, 223–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Yuan, N. P., Eaves, E. R., Koss, M. P., Polacca, M., Bletzer, K., & Goldman, D. (2010). Alcohol is something that been with us like a common cold: Community perceptions of American Indian drinking. Substance Use Misuse, 45(12), 1909–1929.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hsing-Jung Chen
    • 1
  • Sundari Balan
    • 2
  • Rumi Kato Price
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Social WorkFu-Jen Catholic UniversityNew Taipei CityTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

Personalised recommendations