Racial differences in risk factors for delinquency and substance use among adolescents

James Herbert Williams, Charles D. Ayers, Robert D. Abbott, J. David Hawkins, Richard F. Catalano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Risk factors for delinquency and substance use were used to explore racial differences in a sample of 567 adolescents. Factors used in this study included beliefs, peer and sibling influences, school attachment and commitment, family relationships, and academic and social skills. Data from surveys administered at ages 12 and 13 were used to predict delinquent and substance-using behaviors reported at ages 15 and 16. Multiple-group longitudinal analyses were conducted to test models in explaining race differences. Patterns and paths of the risk factors demonstrated a similarity across both substance use and delinquency for both groups. Some different paths were detected in the substance-use model across groups. Intervention implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-256
Number of pages16
JournalSocial work research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Delinquency
  • Racial differences
  • Risk factors
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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