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Objective: Investigators have examined the moderating effects of young people’s relationships with parents, teachers, and peers on victimization and on adverse outcomes such as drug use. However, the moderating influence of religious affiliation on the association between peer victimization and illicit drug use, the focus of this paper, has seldom been examined. Method: Participants were 638 low-income African American youth ages 12–22 (mean age = 15.8; 54% female and 46% male) in Chicago, IL. We conducted hierarchical logistic regression analyses to examine the moderating effect of religious affiliation on the relationship between peer victimization and illicit drug use. Results: Youths who had been victimized by peers were at elevated risk for illicit drug use. Victimized peers who reported a religious affiliation or who attended religious services were less likely to use illicit drugs than other youths. Involvement in prayer or meditation per se did not influence the relationship between peer victimization and illicit drug use. Conclusions: Affiliation and participation in religious services may be important intervention points in efforts to prevent or reduce illicit drug use.
African American youth, bullying, illicit drug use, peer victimization, religiosity
Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research
© 2019 by the Society for Social Work and Research. All rights reserved.
Jun Sung Hong, Dong Ha Kim, Carol Ann Lee, Ryan Russ, Shantalea Johns, and Dexter R. Voisin. Peer Victimization and Illicit Drug Use Among African American Adolescents in Chicago: The Moderating Effects of Religious Affiliation. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research 2019 10:3, 333-348. https://doi.org/10.1086/704061