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Substance Use Among Gang Member Adolescents and Young Adults and Associations With Friends and Family Substance Use

Authors


Abstract

Problem

Gang membership is an indicator of chronic substance use. Social network studies indicate that substance use in youth is related to substance use in friends and family; however, no such analyses among gang youth have been conducted.

Methods

Interviews were conducted with a sample of young gang members (n = 60) in Los Angeles. Univariate analyses were conducted.

Findings

Cigarette use in gang members was strongly associated with cigarette use in friendship networks. There were no associations for use of alcohol and marijuana.

Conclusions

Few associations emerged between substance use in participants and their friends/family. Possible explanations for these findings are presented.

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