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Subst Use Misuse. 1998 Jun;33(8):1629-65.

Primary socialization theory. The influence of the community on drug use and deviance. III.

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Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research, Colorado State University, Fort Collins 80523-1879, USA.


Primary socialization theory states that drug use and deviance are social behaviors learned predominantly through three sources, the family, the school, and peer clusters. This paper shows that the theory provides a parsimonious explanation of how characteristics of both the local community and the larger extended community influence drug use and deviance. These characteristics affect deviance because they either strengthen or weaken bonding with the three primary socialization sources, or affect the norms that are transmitted through the primary socialization process. The paper considers the following social structure characteristics of the local neighborhood or community: physical characteristics, rurality, ethnicity, heterogeneity, occupational type, mobility, poverty, neighborhood deviance, and age distribution. It also examines how other secondary socialization sources, the extended family, associational groups, religion, the peer environment, and the media influence the primary socialization process and, in turn, drug use and deviance.

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