Preventing Substance Use Among Hispanic Urban Youth: Valuing the Role of Family, Social Support Networks, School Importance, and Community Engagement

David T. Lardier, Veronica R. Barrios, Pauline Garcia-Reid, Robert Reid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Hispanic urban youth experience high levels of violence, access to drugs and alcohol, and limited access to quality educational institutions, as well as a disproportionate use of substances. However, youth exposed to multiple sources of support, such as values related to family centrality (e.g., family cohesion or familismo) and positive social networks, are less likely to use substances, and more likely to value school and participate in community activities. The present study examines substance use and empowering-protective resources among a cohort of Hispanic students (N = 538) from a northeastern United States urban community. We also assessed the moderating influence of gender using structural equation modeling (SEM) multigroup path analysis techniques. Results indicate that access to more sociocultural resources, such as cohesive families (familismo) and social supports, increases Hispanic adolescents’ community participation and school importance. Outcomes also demonstrate the positive, yet diverging, effects of gender. Implications for community prevention and policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-263
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2018



  • Hispanic adolescents
  • community participation
  • empowerment
  • familismo
  • gender differences
  • school importance
  • social support
  • substance use

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