The Long-Term Impact of Family Background on the Onset of Substance Use in U.S-born and Foreign-born Young Adults in the United States

Document Type : Original Article


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This paper examines the onset of substance use among foreign-born and U.S.-born young adults in the United States, with consideration of the effects of acculturation, family structure, parent-child relationships, and the onset of using alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and illegal drugs. Results indicate using substances at an earlier age for the U.S.-born young adults than non-U.S. born. Higher participation in family activities plays the highest role among family background predictors in using later substances, however, low parental control, and parental divorce accelerate the initiation of illegal drugs. Peer influence as a predictor of acculturation leads young adults to use substances in an earlier age particularly in using marijuana and illegal drugs. The analysis uses Kaplan-Meier survival estimates and discrete-time binomial logistic regression analysis. The data is used from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth from 1997 to 2017.


Volume 05, Issue 02
June 2021
Pages 19-34
  • Receive Date: 30 March 2021
  • Revise Date: 19 April 2021
  • Accept Date: 16 May 2021
  • First Publish Date: 16 May 2021