Explaining Inhalant Use Among Hispanic and Native American Juveniles

Jay T. Gilliam, University of Oklahoma
Kelly Damphousse, University of Oklahoma

While many studies have focused on the etiology and consequences of illicit drug use by juveniles, relatively few have focused on the use of inhalants. Those few studies that have examined inhalant use suggest that race/ethnicity might play a leading role in determining such use. Therefore, this paper examines the etiology of juvenile inhalant use with a special focus on the impact of race and ethnicity. Specifically, we address the association between Hispanic and Native American juveniles and inhalant use. Our data consist of a sample of 274 juveniles incarcerated by the state of Oklahoma. Because our data set contains a diverse population (especially a large percentage of Native Americans), the study allows for a unique opportunity to understand the relationships between race, ethnicity, and inhalant use. The paper examines these relationships in light of variables reflecting family composition, peer groups associations, and self-attitudes. Our findings exhibit significant differences in the use of inhalants between Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans.

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Updated 05/20/2006