Document Type



Social Welfare

First Advisor's Name

Mario De La Rosa

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Christopher Rice

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Daniel Santisteban

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Frederick Newman

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Mark Macgowan

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


parental peer involvement, acculturation, substance abuse, Hispanic adolescents, parental school involvment

Date of Defense



The main objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between parent-related, acculturation-related, and substance use-related variables found within individual, familial/parental, peer and school adolescent ecological domains, in a clinical sample (i.e. adolescents who met criteria for a Diagnostic Statistical Manual-IV [DSM-IV] clinical diagnosis of substance abuse/dependence) of Hispanic adolescents from Miami, Florida. The sample for this study consisted of 94 adolescent-mother pairs. The adolescent sample was 65% male, and 35% female, with a mean age of 15 years. More than half of the adolescents were born in the United States (60%) and had resided in the U.S. for an average of 12 years; 80% of the caregivers (primarily mothers) were foreign-born and lived in the U.S. for an average of 21 years. Correlation and hierarchical regression were used to answer the research questions. The findings indicate that the hypothesized model and corresponding anticipated effect of the relationship between parental school and peer involvement on adolescents’ frequency of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine use was not supported by the data. Parental “acculturation-related” variables did not explain any of the variance in adolescent substance use frequency in this sample. Mediation and moderation models were not supported either. However, some interesting relationships were found: The larger the acculturation gap, the lower the parental involvement in school tended to be (r = -.21, p < .05). Adolescents who experienced a greater acculturation gap with their parents (-.81, p >.01) had an earlier onset of marijuana (-.33, p < .01) and cocaine use (r = -.24, p .05), they also reported using marijuana more frequently than females (.21, p >.05).





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