Differential racial/ethnic patterns in substance use initiation among young, low-income women

Z. Helen Wu, Jeffrey Temple, Navkiran K. Shokar, Tracy U. Nguyen-Oghalai, James J. Grady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Accumulating research suggests that the gateway hypothesis of substance use may not apply equally across different race/ethnicity groups. Objectives: The current study examines racial and ethnic differences in patterns of initiation of licit and illicit substance use. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 696 low-income women between the ages of 18 and 31 who sought gynecological care between December, 2001 and May, 2003 in southeast Texas. Results: Overall, White women fit the classic profile of drug use initiation patterns, with those initiating tobacco and beer/wine at earlier ages being more likely to use illicit drugs. Conversely, African-American and Hispanic women initiated tobacco and beer/wine at much later ages than White women, but they were as likely to use illicit drugs. Conclusions: To be optimally effective, prevention efforts may need to be tailored to fit the race/ethnicity of the audience. Further studies are suggested to investigate specific risk factors related to substance use initiation by race/ethnicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Volume36
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2010

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Street Drugs
Wine
Tobacco
Hispanic Americans
African Americans
Cross-Sectional Studies
Research
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Keywords

  • Ethnicity
  • Health disparities
  • Substance use
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Differential racial/ethnic patterns in substance use initiation among young, low-income women. / Wu, Z. Helen; Temple, Jeffrey; Shokar, Navkiran K.; Nguyen-Oghalai, Tracy U.; Grady, James J.

In: American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Vol. 36, No. 2, 03.2010, p. 123-129.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wu, Z. Helen ; Temple, Jeffrey ; Shokar, Navkiran K. ; Nguyen-Oghalai, Tracy U. ; Grady, James J. / Differential racial/ethnic patterns in substance use initiation among young, low-income women. In: American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. 2010 ; Vol. 36, No. 2. pp. 123-129.
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