Father's absence and African American adolescent drug use

Jelani Mandara*, Carolyn B. Murray

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This study assessed the effects of father's absence on drug use among 86 African American adolescents. No differences between father-present and father-absent girls' self-reported drug usage were found.The results did reveal, however, that father-absent boys were much more likely than father-present boys or either group of girls to use drugs. These findings persisted even when background factors such as SES, extent of neighborhood crime, parental monitoring, and degree of peer drug usage were controlled. Friends' drug use was the main predictor of drug use for girls, while father's absence was for boys. It was concluded that father-absent African American boys might be at risk for drug use problems relative to other African American adolescents. Implications for after-school programs were also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Divorce and Remarriage
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2006


  • African American
  • Drug use
  • Family structure
  • Father's absence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Law


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