Ethnic differences among substance-abusing adolescents in a treatment dissemination project.
Despite evidence of ethnic differences in substance use patterns among adolescents in community samples, clinical studies have not found ethnic differences in posttreatment outcomes. Prior clinical studies have been limited by small samples, focus on broad treatment modalities, and lack of consideration of important covariates. We investigated ethnic differences in substance use frequency and problems in a large sample of White (60%), African American (12%), and Latino (28%) adolescents prior to and following an evidence-based treatment. Participants included 4,502 adolescents (29% female), with ages 13-18 years, who received Motivational Enhancement Therapy/Cognitive Behavior Therapy 5 Sessions. At baseline, African American adolescents demonstrated less frequent use, fewer problems, and less comorbidity than Whites or Latinos. Consistent with prior research, there were no ethnic differences in substance use outcomes among assessment completers (71%) when controlling for baseline differences. However, African Americans, older adolescents, and males were less likely to complete the posttreatment assessment. Implications for clinical service and effectiveness research are discussed.
Becker, SJ; Stein, GL; Curry, JF; Hersh, J
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