Parental School-Involvement and Substance Use? A Novel Family-Based Prevention Strategy for Latino Youth

Ronald B. Cox, Isaac J. Washburn, Julie M. Croff, Christopher L. Ringwalt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To examine the association of parental school involvement with reductions in adolescent substance initiation among Latino immigrant youth. Background: Parental school involvement is an important determinant of children's academic achievement. Likewise, academic achievement is associated with multiple adolescent health risk behaviors. Little research has examined whether parental school involvement is associated with adolescent drug use, and no research has examined this link among Latino immigrant youth. Method: Using a census of Latino students (N = 661; mean age = 13.1 years) in 12 urban middle schools, we used a multilevel model with zero-inflated outcomes to test whether (a) parental school involvement is inversely associated with alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use; (b) school-level parental involvement affects individual-level drug use; and (c) child gender moderates these associations. Results: Parental school involvement was negatively associated with lifetime prevalence of all substances and with increases in the age of first alcohol use. School-level parental involvement was negatively associated with lifetime prevalence of substance use and age of first use for girls and marginally significant with boys. Conclusion: Parental school involvement is a promising target for prevention efforts to reduce early-onset substance use. Implications: Parental school involvement may address multiple negative outcomes in youth even for youth whose parents are relatively uninvolved, and may increase program dosage.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFamily Relations
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • early adolescent
  • Latino
  • multilevel modeling
  • parental school involvement
  • substance use

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