Preventing Substance Abuse Among African American Children and Youth: Race Differences in Risk Factor Exposure and Vulnerability

The accurate identification of risk factors is central to the development of effective efforts to prevent young people from using alcohol, tobacco and other substances. To date, a key limitation of the prevention literature has been the paucity of research that examines the extent to which substance use risk factors identified in studies of white adolescents generalize to African American (and other nonwhite) youth. In the absence of research on race differences in risk factor exposure and vulnerability, current preventive interventions are based on the implicit assumptions that 1) the risk factors for African American and white adolescents’ substance use are identical; and 2) that African American and white adolescents are equally exposed and equally vulnerable to these risk factors. The purpose of the present study was to begin to examine empirically the “equal exposure and vulnerability” assumption.
Author: 
John M. Wallace, Jr. and Jordana R. Muroff
Publisher: 
The Journal of Primary Prevention
Date Published: 
2002