A Trajectory Analysis of Alcohol and Marijuana Use Among Latino Adolescents in San Francisco, California
ABSTRACT We examined alcohol and marijuana use trajectories among Latino adolescents in the San Francisco Bay Area.
A total of 410 Latino adolescents aged 14-19 years were recruited from community venues from years 2001 to 2004 and followed up for 2 years. In separate models, we identified groups with similar temporal patterns of alcohol and marijuana use using semi-parametric latent group trajectory modeling. Multivariable multinomial logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with the probability of trajectory group membership.
The use of alcohol (76%) and marijuana (55%) in the previous 6 months was common. Three alcohol-use trajectories were identified: low users (18%), moderate users (37%), and frequent users (45%). Low alcohol users (vs. moderate users) were found to be younger in age, preferred Spanish language, and had more parental monitoring. Frequent users were more likely to be male, sexually active, gang exposed, and have less parental monitoring than moderate users. Similarly, three marijuana-use trajectories were identified: low users (36%), moderate users (35%), and frequent users (28%), with similar correlates of group membership.
Urban Latino adolescents' substance use is shaped by complex cultural and environmental influences. Patterns of substance use emerge by early adolescence highlighting the need for timely intervention.
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ABSTRACT: The major morbidities and mortalities of adolescents are related to preventable risky behaviors, but how, when, and in whom these behaviors develop in early adolescence is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine which set of risk factors and protective resources of school-age children were best predictors of health-risk behaviors in early adolescence. A longitudinal, cohort sequential design was used with a diverse sample of 1,934 children in grades 4 through 8. Parents provided demographic and neighborhood data for children through a mailed survey. Children completed valid scales annually at schools, using audio-computer-assisted self-interviewing (A-CASI) technology. Significant gender and racial/ethnic differences were found in carrying a weapon and using alcohol. Higher perceived levels of stress increased the risk for alcohol use as did riding in a car with a driver who was drinking. Health behaviors exhibited while in 4th through 6th grades protected early adolescents from alcohol use and riding in a car with a driver who was drinking. A parent's education and perceived safety in neighborhood protected against carrying a weapon and smoking. Many findings are similar to those of national samples, but others show positive differences in this localized sample, over 50% of whom were Latino. Protective resources suggest numerous nursing interventions to promote healthy adolescent development.Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing 04/2011; 34(2):79-96. DOI:10.3109/01460862.2011.574452