Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 319–339

NTU: An Africentric Approach to Substance Abuse Prevention Among African American Youth

  • Valerie R. Cherry
  • Faye Z. Belgrave
  • Willa Jones
  • Darryl Kofi Kennon
  • Famebridge S. Gray
  • Fred Phillips


The primary goal of the NTU project was to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors for ATOD use among African American 5th and 6th graders. The objectives of the NTU program were: 1) to improve knowledge of and increase intolerance of drugs; 2) to improve values; 3) to increase racial identity; 4) to improve self-esteem; 5) to increase knowledge of African culture; 6) to improve family communications; 7) to improve behaviors in school; and 8) to improve problem solving skills. Africentric philosophy and world-view provided the conceptual framework for the development of intervention activities. Intervention components for 5th graders included a rites of passage program, a substance abuse education program, an Africentric education program, a parenting program, and a family therapy program. Sixth graders participated in a booster program designed to reinforce skills and values learned the previous year. Pre and post data were collected from 5th and 6th grade participants in an intervention and a comparison group. Measures of drug knowledge, Africentric values, self-esteem, racial identity, family communication, child behaviors, and problem solving were obtained. The results indicated significant program effects for protective factors including racial identity, knowledge of African culture, self-esteem, and school behaviors.

Africentric approach to substance abuse prevention prevention for African-American youth 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Akbar, N. (1979). African roots of Black personality. In W. D. Smith, K. Burlew, M. Mosley, & W. Whitney (Eds.), Reflections on Black Psychology. Washington, D.C.: University of American Press.Google Scholar
  2. Asante, M. K. (1988). Afrocentricity. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.Google Scholar
  3. Azibo, D. (1986). African-centered theses in mental health and a nosology of Black/African personality disorders. Journal of Black Psychology, 15(2), 173–214.Google Scholar
  4. Bachman, J. H., Johnston, L. D., & O'Malley, P. M. (1981). Monitoring the future: Questionnaires from the nations's high school seniors. Ann Arbor, MI: Survey Research Center.Google Scholar
  5. Baldwin, J. A. (1981). Notes on an Africentric theory of Black personality testing. Western Journal of Black Studies, 5(3), 172–179.Google Scholar
  6. Belgrave, F. Z., Cherry, V. R., Cunningham, D., Walwyn, S., Letlaka-Rennert, K., & Phillips, F. (1993). The influence of Africentric values, self-esteem and Black identity on drug attitudes among African American fifth graders: A Preliminary Study. The Journal of Black Psychology, 20(2), 143–156.Google Scholar
  7. Belgrave, F. Z., Davis, A., & Vajda, J. (1994). An examination of social support source, type, and satisfaction among African-Americans and Caucasians with disabilities. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 9(5), 307–320.Google Scholar
  8. Brunswick, A. F. (1980). Social meanings and developmental needs: Perspectives on Black Youth's Drug Abuse. Youth & Society, 11(4), 449–473.Google Scholar
  9. Bruce, C., & Emshof, J. (1992). The SUPER II Program: An early intervention program. Journal of Community Psychology, OSAP Special Issue.Google Scholar
  10. Capuzzi, D., & LeCoq, L. L. (1983). Social and personal determinants of adolescent use and abuse of alcohol and marijuana. Personnel and Guidance Journal, 62(4), 199–205.Google Scholar
  11. Dembo, R., Farrow, D., Schmeidler, J., & Burgos, W. (1979). Testing a causal model of environmental influences on the early drug involvement of inner city junior high school youths. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 6, 313–336.Google Scholar
  12. Donovan, J. E., & Jessor, R. (1985). Structure of problem behavior in adolescence and young adulthood. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 890–904.Google Scholar
  13. Dupont, R. L. (1989). Stopping alcohol and other drug use before it starts: The future of prevention (OSAP Prevention Monograph 1). Rockville, MD: Office for Substance Abuse Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  14. Fagan, J. (1987). Neighborhood education, mobilization, and organization for juvenile crime prevention. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 494, 54–70.Google Scholar
  15. Farrell, A. D., Danish, S. J., & Howard, C. W. (1992). Relationship between drug use and other problem behaviors in urban adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1992, 60, 705–712.Google Scholar
  16. Farrington, D. P. (1985). Predicting self-reported and official delinquency. In D. P. Farrington & R. Tarling (Eds.). Prediction in criminology. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  17. Forney, M. A., Forney, P. D., & Ripley, W. K. (1991). Alcohol use among black adolescents: Parental and peer influences. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 36(3), 36–45.Google Scholar
  18. Foster, P., Phillips, F., Belgrave, F. Z., Randolph, S. M., & Randolph. (1993). An Africentric model for AIDS education, prevention, and psychological services within the African American community. Journal of Black Psychology, 19(2), 123–141.Google Scholar
  19. Gary, L. E., & Berry, G. L. (1984). Some determinants of attitudes toward substance abuse in an urban ethnic community. Psychological Reports, 54, 539–542.Google Scholar
  20. Goddard, L. L. (1992). Background and scope of the alcohol and other drug problem. In An African centered model of prevention for African American youth at high-risk (DHHS ADM Publication No. 92-1925, pp. 11–18). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  21. Greenwood, P. W. (1992). Substance abuse problems among high-risk youth and potential interventions. Crime & Delinquency, 38(4), 444–458.Google Scholar
  22. Hightower, A. D., Spinell, A., & Lotczwski, B. S. (1990). AML Behavior Rating Scale — Revised Guidelines. Rochester, NY: Primary Mental Health Project.Google Scholar
  23. Kandel, D. B. (1982). Epidemiological and psychosocial perspectives on adolescent drug use. Journal of American Academic Clinic Psychiatry, 21(4), 328–347.Google Scholar
  24. Kandel, D., & Yamaguchi, K. (1993). From beer to crack: developmental patterns of drug involvement. American Journal of Public Health, 83(6), 851–855.Google Scholar
  25. Kumpfer, K. L., & DeMarch, J. (1986). Family environmental and genetic influences on children's future chemical dependency. In S. Ezekoye, K. L. Kumper, & W. J. Bukoski (Eds.), Childhood and chemical abuse: Prevention and intervention (pp. 499–91). New York: Haworth.Google Scholar
  26. Jessor, R., & Jessor, S. L. (1977). Problem behavior and psychosocial development: A longitudinal study. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  27. Labouvie, E. W., & McGee, C. R. (1986). Relation of personality to alcohol and drug use in adolescence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 289–293.Google Scholar
  28. Long, L. C. (1992). An Afrocentric intervention strategy. In An African centered model of prevention for African American youth at high-risk (DHHS ADM Publication No. 92-1925, pp. 11–18). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  29. Maton, K. I., & Zimmerman, M. A. (1990, August). Psychosocial predictors of substance use among urban Black male adolescents. Paper presented at the 98th annual convention of the American Psychological Association, Boston, Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  30. McAdoo, H. (1991) Family Ethnicity. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  31. Myers, L. J. (1988). An Afrocentric Worldview: Introduction to an optimal psychology. Dubuque, IA: Quintal-Hunt.Google Scholar
  32. NAPA Project (1993). Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Office of Scientific Analysis, Rockville, Maryland.Google Scholar
  33. Newcomb, M. D., & Bentler, P. M. (1986). Substance use and ethnicity: Differential impact of peer and adult models. The Journal of Psychology, 120(1), 83–95.Google Scholar
  34. Nobles, W. W. (1986). African psychology: Towards its Reclamation, Reascension, and Revitalization, Oakland, CA: Black Family Institute.Google Scholar
  35. Nobles, W. E., & Goddard, L. L. (1992). An African-centered model of prevention for African American youth at high risk. In An African centered model of prevention for African American youth at high-risk. DHHS Publication No. ADM 92-1925, pp. 87–92). US Department of Health and Human Services.Google Scholar
  36. Oetting, E. R., & Beauvais, F. (1987). Common elements in youth abuse: Peer clusters and other psychosocial factors. Journal of Drug Issues, 17(1–2), 133–151.Google Scholar
  37. Olson, D. H., Portner, J., & Bell, R. (1982). FACES II. Family University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota.Google Scholar
  38. Pandina, R. J., & Schuele, J. A. (1983). Psychosocial correlates of alcohol and drug use of adolescent students and adolescents in treatment. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 44(6), 950–973.Google Scholar
  39. Phillips, F. B. (1990). NTU psychotherapy: An afrocentric approach. Journal of Black Psychology, 17(1), 55–74.Google Scholar
  40. Piers, E. V. (1984). Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valerie R. Cherry
    • 1
  • Faye Z. Belgrave
    • 2
  • Willa Jones
    • 1
  • Darryl Kofi Kennon
    • 1
  • Famebridge S. Gray
    • 2
  • Fred Phillips
    • 1
  1. 1.Progressive Life CenterWashington, D.C
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyGeorge Washington UniversityWashington, D.C

Personalised recommendations