Alcohol use is still rampant among adolescent populations nationally and alcohol remains the most prevalent of all drugs. Adolescence is the critical period to intervene to prevent alcohol abuse before it begins or escalates. Before effective programs can be implemented with inner-city youth, research elucidating the etiology of alcohol use among these predominantly minority adolescents is necessary. This application proposes secondary analyses with a sample of inner-city youth to examine (1) the moderating effects of competence skills on known risk factors (friends' drinking, perceived benefits of using alcohol), (2) different trajectories for alcohol use and show how membership in the trajectory classes relates to gender and ethnicity, (3) whether changes in predictors are associated with change in alcohol use over time, and (4) whether elements of social influence and competence enhancement approaches to prevention predict subsequent alcohol use. This study would capitalize on data already collected in a NIDA-funded Center large-scale prevention trial to assess the efficacy of a cognitive-behavioral skills training program on smoking, alcohol and other drug use (Multi-Ethnic Drug Abuse Prevention Among New York Youth P50-DA07656, P.I. Gilbert J. Botvin, Ph.D.) with a sample of inner-city youth attending schools in New York City. The proposed study will examine untreated control subjects only from a longitudinal cohort during the three-year period in junior high school when adolescent alcohol use tends to start. The panel design will focus on three assessments: (1) baseline, (2) the one-year follow-up, and (3) the two-year follow-up. Measures assessed a wide range of concepts expected to relate to adolescent alcohol use: social influences to drink (among friends, peers, adults and family), competence (refusal skills techniques, media influence skills, decision-making), and other problem behaviors (cigarette smoking, marijuana use, deviance, absenteeism). This research is significant because it will increase our understanding of the etiology of alcohol use in understudied ethnic minority groups. In addition, the analyses of longitudinal transitions and patterns in alcohol use will go beyond prior work that only determined cross-sectional predictors of alcohol use among Hispanic and Black adolescents. Results of this research will provide information relevant to development of more effective alcohol prevention approaches for these predominantly ethnic minority youth residing in inner-city regions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Small Research Grants (R03)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1-FF (01))
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Arroyo, Judith A
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Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
New York
United States
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