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Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2007;3:77-105.

Drug abuse in African American and Hispanic adolescents: culture, development, and behavior.

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  • 1Center for Family Studies, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA.


An understanding of African American and Hispanic adolescent drug abuse occurs at the intersection of context, development, and behavior. The focus of this review is on the impact of racial/ethnic culture as one of the important contexts that influence adolescent development toward or away from prosocial behaviors. Because family plays a major role in both African American and Hispanic cultures, it is also a centerpiece of any discussion of adolescent development in these groups. This review on the state of the science in drug abuse for African American and Hispanic adolescents focuses on epidemiology, culturally specific risk and protective processes, and prevention and treatment research. From the perspective of a broad lens, specific minority groups such as African Americans and Hispanics would appear to have more in common than not. However, each of these groups encompasses considerable genetic, historical, social, and cultural heterogeneity. Investigation across such diversity will yield a more complete picture of the human condition.

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