Tri-Ethnic Center

College of Natural Sciences

Does the Normative Environment for Alcohol, Marijuana and Inhalant Use Differ for AI and White Students Attending Schools on or Near Reservations (Swaim et al. 2013)

Middle and high school students attending 17 schools on or near AI reservations were surveyed during the 2009-2010 school year. Eighth grade AI students report having more peer models (Descriptive Norms) for alcohol use compared to White students. For marijuana use, however, among 12th grade students, AI students reported fewer peer models. Younger white female students reported having more peer models for inhalant use compared to otherwise similar AI students. Peer disapproval (Student Injunctive Norms) also differed by ethnicity with younger White students reporting more peer injunctive norms for alcohol, with this effect occurring across all grades for marijuana and inhalants. No ethnicity differences between AI and White students were found for adult disapproval (Adult Injunctive Norms) for alcohol. For marijuana and inhalant use, however, white students reported higher levels of adult disapproval. Effects of various norm types by ethnicity and grade are presented in Figures 1-3.


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Swaim, R.C., Stanley, L.R., & Beauvais, F. (2013).   The normative environment for substance use among American Indian students and White students attending schools on or near reservations. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 83, 422-429.