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.

7 Reads
  • Source
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study examined racial/ethnic differences in alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use among a diverse sample of approximately 5,500 seventh and eighth graders. We also evaluated the extent to which individual, family, and school factors mediated racial/ ethnic disparities in use. Students (49% male) from 16 participating middle schools in southern California reported on lifetime and past-month substance use, individual factors (expectancies and resistance self-efficacy), family factors (familism, parental respect, and adult and older sibling use), and school factors (school-grade use and perceived peer use). We used generalized estimating equations to examine the odds of consumption for each racial/ethnic group adjusting for sex, grade, and family structure. Path analysis models tested mediation of racial/ethnic differences through individual, family, and school factors. After adjusting for sex, grade, and family structure, Hispanics reported higher and Asians reported lower lifetime and past-month substance use, compared with non-Hispanic Caucasians. Rates of substance use did not differ between non-Hispanic African Americans and Caucasians. Several individual factors mediated the relationship between Hispanic ethnicity and substance use, including negative expectancies and resistance self-efficacy. Higher use among Hispanics was generally not explained by family or school factors. By contrast, several factors mediated the relationship between Asian race and lower alcohol use, including individual, family (parental respect, adult and older sibling use), and school (perceived peer use, school-grade use) factors. Results highlight the importance of targeting specific individual, family, and school factors in tailored intervention efforts to reduce substance use among young minority adolescents.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2010 · Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs
  • Source
    • "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. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    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.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2009 · Behaviour Research and Therapy
  • Source
    • "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). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Positive expectancies about alcohol's effects are more likely to be endorsed with increasing age through adolescence, and the strength of positive alcohol expectancies in children appears to differ by ethnicity. Little is known about the extent to which differences in a measure's psychometric properties as a function of development and ethnicity may account for changes that are observed over time and ethnic differences. This study used measurement invariance methods to examine ethnic differences in the development of alcohol expectancies, and examined risk factors associated with girls' positive expectancies. African-American (56%) and Caucasian (44%) girls (n = 570) in the age 7 cohort of the Pittsburgh Girls Study, and the girl's primary caretaker, were followed annually for 4 years (ages 7-10). Girls reported on alcohol expectancies at each wave, and physical aggression at Year 1. In Year 1, caretakers reported on neighborhood drug use, their own substance-related problems, and depression in the girl. Structural equation modeling was used to examine measurement invariance of positive alcohol expectancies, and to test associations of risk factors to initial level and change in expectancies. Five of 8 positive alcohol expectancy items showed measurement equivalence for African-American and Caucasian girls in cross-sectional, but not longitudinal, analyses. Measurement equivalence over ages 7-10 was demonstrated for Caucasian girls, and over ages 7-8 and 9-10 (i.e., a two-part model) for African-American girls. Risk factor analyses indicated that, for Caucasian girls, greater physical aggression was associated with higher initial positive expectancies. Some developmental change and ethnic differences in the performance of positive expectancy items were identified, highlighting the utility of measurement invariance methods. Risk factor analyses suggest the potential benefit of targeted alcohol prevention interventions for certain girls.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2008 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research
Show more