Social and personal factors in marijuana use and intentions to use drugs among inner city minority youth

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1995 Feb;16(1):14-20.


Limited information is available about the etiology of illicit drug use among minority youth. This study examined predictors of marijuana use and intentions to use marijuana, cocaine/crack, and other drugs for African-American and Hispanic seventh graders (N = 757). Self-reports of marijuana use and intentions to use drugs were collected along with data concerning background, social environmental, and individual characteristics hypothesized to be related to drug use. Results indicated that social influences, including adults, friends, and the most admired person's marijuana use, predicted marijuana use. Individual characteristics, such as a lack of knowledge about the prevalence and negative social consequences of marijuana use, positive attitudes toward marijuana use, and inadequate social, communication, and refusal skills increased suspectability to marijuana use. Lack of self-efficacy was related to intentions to use cocaine and other drugs. Implications of these findings are discussed with respect to the development of effective prevention programs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Achievement
  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Child
  • Decision Making
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marijuana Abuse* / epidemiology
  • Marijuana Abuse* / prevention & control
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States