Racial differences in adolescent drug use: the impact of religion

Subst Use Misuse. 1996 Aug;31(10):1311-32. doi: 10.3109/10826089609063979.


Contrary to popular stereotypes, current studies of adolescent populations suggest that Black teens are less likely to use illicit drugs than are White teens. This study investigates the extent to which differences in religiosity are responsible for racial differences in drug use. Using data from a national survey of United States high school seniors, our results indicate that religion does provide some protection from drug use by adolescents. However, religiosity has less of an impact on the drug use of Black adolescents, perhaps as a result of the diverse roles of the Black church.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Black or African American / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Racial Groups*
  • Religion*
  • Substance-Related Disorders*