Youth drug use has reached global epidemic proportions with unequal distribution among communities with low income, immigrants, or ethnic status.
This study seeks to understand the association between micro-level factors and youth drug use behavior among 2693 low-income, ethnic, and immigrant youths in Pomona, CA, USA. The study uneath’s unique evidence and intervention elements necessary to resolve youth drug use in Pomona.
We used social cognitive theory as a conceptual framework, and performed correlation and multiple linear regression analysis in a cross-sectional design.
Results and Discussion
The results reveal that attitudes, perceptions, and behavior related to friends, participants, family, and adults in the participant’s life and ease of access to drugs are associated with youth drug use. Variables related to friends and participants show a relatively stronger association with youth drug use in comparison to variables related to parents and adults in participants’ lives. Equally, drug and non-drug antisocial behavior of friends and participants show a stronger association with youth drug use relative to prosocial behavior. Also, when a diverse set of predictor variables are combined together, their association to the outcome variable is stronger than that of a single variable.
Future interventions in Pomona should prioritize strategies which target participants and friends over activities targeting parents and adults. Interventions targeting antisocial behavior should be prioritized over prosocial behavior. Program implementers should also develop unique evidence and tools which will help parents influence the drug use behavior of youths in Pomona and similar communities.