Variance in Substance Use between Rural Black and White Mississippi High School Students

By Allen, Ola; Page, Randy M. | Adolescence, Summer 1994 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Variance in Substance Use between Rural Black and White Mississippi High School Students


Allen, Ola, Page, Randy M., Adolescence


Alcohol and other drug use usually begins between the ages of 12 and 20 (DuPont, 1991). Patterns of use, which are established in youth, often persist into adulthood and contribute substantially to chronic disease (e.g., lung cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive lung disease), motor-vehicle accidents, low educational achievement, unemployment, AIDS, and other serious consequences (Centers for Disease Control, 1991; Hawkins, Catalono, & Miller, 1992). National health objectives have been set to substantially reduce the use of alcohol and other drugs among both youth and adults in order to curb these consequences (U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, 1991).

The purpose of the present study was to determine the extent to which the use of substances varies between black and white students in a sample of primarily rural Mississippi adolescents.

METHOD

Subjects

The subjects for this study were 1,915 adolescents from seven high schools in Mississippi. These schools represent a mix of students: low, middle, and upper socioeconomic status; black and white students; and public and private schools in a primarily rural Mississippi school district. Male students comprised 48.8% of the sample and females 51.2%. Freshmen accounted for 15.2%, sophomores 36.9%, juniors 29.5%, and seniors 18.4%. About three-fourths (73.1%) of the subjects were white and one-fourth (24.9%) were black. Two percent of sample members identified themselves as either Native American, Hispanic, Asian, or other.

Procedure

Data were collected via a drug frequency questionnaire in regularly scheduled classes. Students were informed that their participation was voluntary and were instructed not to place their name upon the questionnaire. They were asked to indicate whether they drink alcohol during the average month; get drunk during an average month; smoke cigarettes during an average day; use smokeless tobacco during an average day; and used cocaine, marijuana, hallucinogens, amphetamines, or sedatives during the past month. The proportion of black males and females and white males and females using various substances are shown in Table 1. Chi-square tests were calculated to determine differences in substance use categories between black and white males as well as for black and white females. These are noted in the table.

Table 1. Proportion of Students Using Various Substances

                              BLACK    WHITE      BLACK     WHITE
                              MALES    MALES     FEMALES   FEMALES

Drink alcohol during the      50.0     58.5(a)    23.5      54.7(b)
average month

Get drunk during the          33.2     46.4(a)     9.7      32.7(b)
average month

Daily cigarette smoker        13.3     21.3(a)     1.3      20.7(b)

Used cocaine in the past       6.4      7.7        1.3       1.2
month

Used marijuana in the past    10.8     15.6        2.1       6.4(b)
month

Daily user of smokeless        7.0     25.3(a)     0.0       0.3
tobacco

Used hallucinogens in the      4.4      9.6(a)     0.8       2.0
past month

Used amphetamines in the       3.4      6 .7       0.8       2.6
past month

Used sedatives in the past     3.0      6.7(a)     0.8       2.6
month

a Black males differed significantly (p [is less than] .05) from white males

b Black females differed significantly (p [is less than] .05) from white
females

RESULTS

Black males were significantly less likely than white males to drink alcohol, get drunk, smoke cigarettes, use smokeless tobacco, hallucinogens, and sedatives. They also reported using cocaine and amphetamines less than did white males although these differences were not statistically significant. Black females were significantly less likely than white females to drink alcohol, get drunk, smoke cigarettes, and use marijuana. Black females were also less likely to use smokeless tobacco, hallucinogens, amphetamines, and sedatives than were white females; however, these differences were not

statistically significant.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Variance in Substance Use between Rural Black and White Mississippi High School Students
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?