Marijuana and alcohol use during early adolescence: Gender differences among American Indian/first nations youth

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This study examines the growth of alcohol and marijuana use during early adolescence among a sample of 746 Indigenous youth (aged 10-12 years at wave 1; 50.3% female) of the upper Midwest and Canada, with a special focus on potential gender differences in these patterns. Research documenting the disproportionately high rates of Indigenous substance use, coupled by our lack of understanding of gender patterns among this group - especially in very early adolescence - highlight the need for this culturally specific work. Results of latent growth curve analyses from three waves of annual data collection indicate that the females in our sample engage in alcohol and marijuana use at rates similar to or greater than their male peers. This finding counters conventional ideas of gender and substance use that place young males at elevated rates of use compared to females, and also adds to our understanding of gendered substance use patterns among Indigenous youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1160
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


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