Author ORCID Identifier

Dexter R. Voisin

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Objective Mounting literature suggests that parental monitoring, risky peer norms, and future orientation correlate with illicit drug use and delinquency. However, few studies have investigated these constructs simultaneously in a single statistical model with low income African American youth. This study examined parental monitoring, peer norms and future orientation as primary pathways to drug use and delinquent behaviors in a large sample of African American urban adolescents. Methods A path model tested direct paths from peer norms, parental monitoring, and future orientation to drug use and delinquency outcomes after adjusting for potential confounders such as age, socioeconomic, and sexual orientation in a sample of 541 African American youth. Results Greater scores on measures of risky peer norms were associated with heightened risk of delinquency with an effect size that was twice in magnitude compared to the protective effects of future orientation. Regarding substance use, greater perceived risky peer norms correlated with the increased likelihood of substance use with a standardized effect size 3.33 times in magnitude compared to the protective effects of parental monitoring. Conclusions Findings from this study suggest that interventions targeting risky peer norms among adolescent African American youth may correlate with a greater impact on reductions in substance use and delinquency than exclusively targeting parental monitoring or future orientation.


African American youth, delinquency, future orientation, parental monitoring, peer norms, substance use

Publication Title

Children and Youth Services Review



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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


This is a peer reviewed Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Elsevier in Children and Youth Services Review, available at: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.02.009



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