Ethnicity and sex similarities and differences in drug resistance

Michael Hecht, Melanie R. Trost, Renée J. Bator, David MacKinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Drug resistance skills form the core of most drug prevention programs. Recent work has begun to describe drug resistance processes among high school and college students. The current study attempts to extend this work by examining a younger population and describing ethnic and sex similarities and differences. The primary goal was to establish the descriptive basis for future research by identifying how drugs are offered and resisted, examining the social context of drug offers, and reporting on the roles of ethnicity and sex. Results of interviews with 158 middle school adolescents indicate that most offers they receive are simple and explicit, with slightly more than a quarter of these offers followed by repeated pressure. Offers are resisted by enacting a relatively restricted range of strategies, the primary resistance strategy being a simple no. Drugs tend to be offered in public or in homes. When European American, African American, and Latino/a students are compared, Latinos/as are significantly more likely to experience a drug offer. In addition, Latinas, compared to females of other ethnicities, are more likely to be offered drugs. European Americans, and European American males in particular, were more likely to have an acquaintance present in addition to the offerer. There were no ethnicity or sex differences in the use of resistance strategies. The study highlights the need for more research on drug prevention that is sensitive to ethnic and sex differences m drug offer experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-97
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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