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Subst Use Misuse. 1998 Aug;33(10):2075-107.

Primary socialization theory: culture, ethnicity, and cultural identification. The links between culture and substance use. IV.

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


Ethnicity, perceived membership in a cultural group, and cultural identification, the strength of one's affiliation with a group, develop primarily through interactions with the primary socialization sources, the family, the school, and peer clusters. Cultural norms for substance use are also transmitted as part of these interactions. Substance use differs across cultures; in different cultures some forms of substance use are culturally required, others are tolerated, and others are sanctioned. Ethnicity and cultural identification, therefore, should relate to substance use. However, primary socialization theory indicates that simple relationships are not likely to be found for a number of reasons: 1) All members of an ethnic group do not have the same level of cultural identification and may not, therefore, have the same conformance to substance use norms. 2) Primary socialization,sources are embedded in subcultures, and subcultures have norms that may differ from those of the larger ethnic group. 3) The individual may experience and report differing levels of cultural identification and different substance use norms in different social contexts. 4) For an individual, ethnicity and cultural identification may derive from different primary socialization sources than drug use norms.

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