School dropout and drug use contribute to the health disparities that exist between different constituencies within the US. Wide ranging negative health, economic and social outcomes result both from school failure and from substance use, and they disproportionately affect disadvantaged, minority adolescents. In order to break this cycle, data are needed on the mechanisms of the intergenerational transmission of risk for school failure and substance use. To that end, the focus of the present study is the identification of characteristics that might put the children of Hispanic school dropouts at risk for school failure and drug abuse. Specifically, the primary aims of the proposed project are to study: 1: the relation between parental educational factors and parent involvement in child's schooling (i.e., school visitation, enrichment activities, and encouragement of child's school success) 2: the interrelations between parental educational factors, the parent's involvement in the child's schooling and the child's early use of cigarettes, alcohol, and inhalants 3: the relation between parental involvement in the child's schooling and the child's academic performance 4: the relation between parental drug use, parenting practices, and children's substance use The parents included in the proposed study have been participating in the Mexican American dropout project (funded by NIDA; Chavez, PI) and data on drug use and school variables are available for the parents since they were adolescents. In the current study, participants from the Mexican American dropout project and their children will be measured at three time points, when the children are in the third, fourth, and fifth grades. Longitudinal data analyses will be conducted using structural equation modeling, latent transition analysis, and latent growth modeling. The career development plan includes provisions for the PI to obtain training in those advanced statistical techniques. The career development plan is designed to enable the PI to learn about an analytic technique through readings, workshops, etc. and then to utilize this knowledge in the analysis of real data. The PI is a developmental psychologist with postdoctoral training in substance use prevention research. The PI has recently returned to academia following a career interruption and she believes that the acquisition of these statistical skills is integral to her ability to develop an externally funded research program in developmental epidemiology.
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