Does high family support protect against substance use in adolescents who perceive high disordered neighborhood stress, border community and immigration stress or normalization of drug trafficking at the US-Mexico border? Analysis of the BASUS survey

Allison J. Huff, Joy K. Luzingu, Elizabeth Salerno Valdez, Benjamin Brady, Melanie Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Adolescent substance use is a significant issue which occurs during a critical period of life of youth. Perceived stress is a risk factor for adolescent substance use, and life events such as low family support, and community and familial turmoil often lead to ongoing feelings of stress and uncertainty. Similarly, structural factors such as poverty, local neighborhood disinvestment and disrepair, and exposure to racism and discrimination are linked to feelings of stress. The US-Mexico border region is favorable for drug smuggling. Such a context exacerbates stressful life events during adolescence and increases the risk of adolescent substance use. This study aims to investigate the impact family support has on substance use in adolescents living on either side of the U.S./Mexico border who self-reported high perceptions of disordered neighborhood stress, border community and immigration stress, or normalization of drug trafficking. Methods: This study used data from the cross-sectional BASUS survey. Logistic regression was used to study the association between family support and past 30-day use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and any substance in a sample restricted to students who self-reported high perceptions of disordered neighborhood stress, border community and immigration stress, or normalization of drug trafficking. Results: Participants with low family support were at higher risk of using any substance compared to participants with high family support (aOR= 1.58, 95% CI: 1.02; 2.45). Similar results were found for alcohol (aOR= 1.79, 95% CI: 1.13, 2.83). While the odds of using tobacco were higher for those with low social support as compared to participants with higher social support, this association was not statistically significant (aOR = 1.74, 95% CI: 0.93, 3.27) Conclusion: Prevention programs tailored to the U.S.-Mexico border region should emphasize strengthening family support as a preventive factor against adolescent substance use. Family support should be considered in school counseling assessments, healthcare screenings and other social services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100164
JournalJournal of Migration and Health
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Addiction
  • Adolescent
  • Border
  • Drug
  • Family
  • Hispanic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Demography
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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