A longitudinal study of substance use and violent victimization in adulthood among a cohort of urban African Americans
Article first published online: 17 JAN 2012
© 2012 The Authors, Addiction © 2012 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 107, Issue 2, pages 339–348, February 2012
How to Cite
Doherty, E. E., Robertson, J. A., Green, K. M., Fothergill, K. E. and Ensminger, M. E. (2012), A longitudinal study of substance use and violent victimization in adulthood among a cohort of urban African Americans. Addiction, 107: 339–348. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03665.x
- Issue published online: 17 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 17 JAN 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 21 SEP 2011 12:10PM EST
- Submitted 14 December 2010; initial review completed 28 February 2011; final version accepted 19 September 2011
- African Americans;
- structural equation modeling;
- substance use;
Aims This paper examines the effects of experiencing violent victimization in young adulthood on pathways of substance use from adolescence to mid-adulthood.
Design Data come from four assessments of an African American community cohort followed longitudinally from age 6 to 42 years.
Setting The cohort lived in the urban, disadvantaged Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago in 1966.
Participants All first graders from the public and parochial schools were asked to participate (n = 1242).
Measurement Dependent variables—alcohol, marijuana and cocaine use—came from self-reports at age 42. Young adult violent victimization was reported at age 32, as were acts of violence, substance use, social integration and socio-economic resources. First grade risk factors came from mothers' and teachers' reports; adolescent substance use was self-reported.
Findings Structural equation models indicate a pathway from adolescent substance use to young adult violent victimization for females and those who did not grow up in extreme poverty (betas ranging from 0.15 to 0.20, P < 0.05). In turn, experiencing violent victimization in young adulthood increased alcohol, marijuana and cocaine use, yet results varied by gender and early poverty status (betas ranging from 0.12 to 0.15, P < 0.05).
Conclusions Violent victimization appears to play an important role in perpetuating substance use among the African American population. However, within-group variations are evident, identifying those who are not raised in extreme poverty as the most negatively affected by violence.