Correlates of Substance Use Among American Indian/Alaska Native Adolescents

Abstract

Substance use is a significant problem among American Indian/Alaska Native adolescents, but the risk and protective factors specific to this population are less well understood. We analyzed risk and protective factors for 30-day and lifetime use of smokeless tobacco, cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana/hashish, and inhalants in a sample of 5912 AI/AN adolescents (43.85% female; mean age = 13.95 years). Results indicated that peer and family substance use, more favorable attitudes toward substance use, greater sensation-seeking, easier access to substances, and poor school performance were associated with increased odds of substance use. Living with both biological parents was associated with lower odds of substance use. Gender, religious service attendance, peer delinquent behavior, perceived maternal warmth, school opportunities for reward and prosocial involvement, school commitment, and community support were inconsistently related to substance use. These findings highlight the importance of addressing substance use among AI/AN adolescents at the sociodemographic, cultural, and psychological levels.

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Correspondence to Holly E. R. Morrell.

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Table 5 Survey items

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Morrell, H.E.R., Hilton, B.T. & Rugless, K.L. Correlates of Substance Use Among American Indian/Alaska Native Adolescents. Int J Ment Health Addiction 18, 674–692 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-018-9971-z

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Keywords

  • American Indian/Alaska Native
  • Adolescent
  • Substance use
  • Drugs
  • Risk factors