Ties that protect: An ecological perspective on latino/a Urban pre-adolescent drug use

Flavio Marsiglia, Bart W. Miles, Patricia Dustman, Stephen Sills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


An ecological risk and resiliency framework was applied to explore how social contexts, especially the role of families and schools, are affecting Latino/a pre-adolescent substance use in the urban Southwest. A mixed research design, using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, guided the study. Quantitative data were collected through surveys administered as part of a school-based prevention intervention experiment (N = 2, 125). Individual interviews conducted with a randomly selected number of matched students (N = 60) provided the qualitative data. The main theme emerging throughout both data sets was a strong resilience against drug use of the participating 7th grade urban youth. The vast majority of students did not use hard drugs, and agreed that alcohol use was inappropriate at their age. A high degree of attachment and strong ties to their parents and their school environment emerged as a shared protective factor. Recommendations include social work interventions that support the resiliency characteristics of urban Latino/a youth in different social contexts such as communities, schools, and families. Limitations of the study are reviewed and suggestions for future research are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-220
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Drug use
  • Family
  • Hispanics
  • Latinos/as
  • Resilienyc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Ties that protect: An ecological perspective on latino/a Urban pre-adolescent drug use'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this