Gang Membership and Substance Use in a Representative Sample of Arizona High Schools

Jeffrey Stuewig, Arizona State University
David MacKinnon, Arizona State University

In 1988, the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission began collecting data at high schools on adolescents' substance use. Schools from each of the 15 counties throughout Arizona were selected for participation in the Arizona Public School Substance Use Survey. Around 5000 students responded to an anonymus survey n 1993, and again in 1995 and 1997. In addition to responding to questions about substance use, participants answer a few questions about gangs. About 8% of the sample self-reported gang membership in 1993. As would be expected, gang members were more likely to have used alcohol and marijuana in the last thirty days than non-gang members (65% vs. 31% vs. 13% respectively). We will present additional information regarding race differences in gang membership and substance use, as well as analyses examining these relationships over time.

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Updated 05/20/2006