Differences Between Black and White Elementary School Children's Orientations Toward Alcohol and Cocaine

Center for Substance Abuse Research, University of Maryland, College Park, 4321 Hartwick Rd, Suite 501, College Park, MD 20740, USA.
Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse (Impact Factor: 0.65). 02/2006; 5(3):75-102. DOI: 10.1300/J233v05n03_05
Source: PubMed


To trace the origins of race differences in substance use, this study examined differences between Black and White elementary school children's knowledge of alcohol and cocaine, beliefs about their short- and long-term effects, and attitudes toward and intentions to use them across three independent samples (N = 181, N = 287, N = 234). Black children were more negatively oriented toward alcohol and cocaine than White children from an early age. Most notably, in all samples Black children had less positive attitudes toward adult alcohol use and lower intentions to use alcohol. Black children were also more likely to attribute negative long-term health and social effects to alcohol and cocaine use, but there were few significant race differences in knowledge or in expectancies regarding short-term effects of use. Since race differences in beliefs, exposure to alcohol, and socioeconomic factors could not explain race differences in attitudes toward substance use, other cultural differences must be considered.

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    • "Studies on individual factors such as positive and negative expectancies and resistance self-effi cacy (RSE) are equivocal. Some studies report that African American adolescents have higher rates of both negative and positive alcohol expectancies, compared with Caucasians (Hipwell et al., 2005; Meier et al., 2007), whereas others report no differences (Rinehart et al., 2006). Oei and Jardim (2007) found that, compared with Asians, Caucasian college students reported more positive expectancies and less RSE for alcohol. "
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    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 09/2010; 71(5):640-51. DOI:10.15288/jsad.2010.71.640 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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    • "Differences in parental views and behavior may translate into children's attitudes toward alcohol use. In support of this view, African American elementary school students express stronger expectations that alcohol use will result in a loss of control and more long term negative effects, while Caucasian students believe that alcohol use will lead to positive affective reactions (Rinehart et al., 2006). Further, African American children convey more negative attitudes toward adult alcohol use and fewer intentions to use alcohol as adults than their Caucasian peers. "
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    ABSTRACT: A large body of research has examined the development of internalizing and externalizing symptoms in childhood and early adolescence. Notably, there is significant concomitant impairment associated with early adolescent symptomatology, as well as association of these symptoms with future development of psychopathology, poor physical health, self-destructive thoughts and behaviors, criminal behavior, and HIV risk behaviors. Drawing on negative reinforcement theory, the current study sought to examine the potential role of distress tolerance, defined as the ability to persist in goal-directed activity while experiencing emotional distress, as a potential mechanism that may underlie both internalizing and externalizing symptoms among 231 Caucasian and African American youth (M age=10.9 years; 45.5% female; 54.5% Caucasian ethnicity). A series of regressions resulted in significant moderated relationships, such that low distress tolerance conferred increased risk for alcohol use among Caucasians, delinquent behavior among African Americans, and internalizing symptoms among females. Clinical implications, including the potential role of negative reinforcement models in early intervention with young adolescents, are discussed.
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    • "A small study of second and third graders residing in lower income urban neighborhoods found that African-American students were more likely than Caucasian students to believe that alcohol intensifies feelings (e.g., if mad, become more mad) and that alcohol increases the likelihood of physical aggression (i.e., drinking alcohol makes it easier to fight) (Corvo, 2000). A larger study, however, found few differences between African-American and Caucasian children's expectancies for short-term alcohol effects (Rinehart et al., 2006). Another study found that African-American girls, compared to Caucasian girls, had higher rates of both negative and positive alcohol expectancies, as well as higher rates of early alcohol use (Hipwell et al., 2005). "
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