The relationship between family structure and marijuana use throughout adolescence was assessed among 1,069 African Americans from the NLSY. A model was also tested suggesting that the effects of family structure on marijuana use would be mediated by poverty, neighborhood quality, and adolescents' self-control. As most prior studies have found, family structure was not related to female adolescents' marijuana use. For young men, being raised with both biological parents was associated with less marijuana use throughout adolescence compared to those whose mothers never married, divorced early and never remarried, or divorced and remarried. Some support for the model was also found. We concluded that being raised without the presence of a biological father is a risk factor for marijuana use among young men, but African American young women from single-parent households have unique resources that protect them from marijuana use. Understanding those resources may offer insight into prevention programs for other youth.
- African american
- Family structure
- Latent growth curve
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)