|A considerable amount of previous research has been conducted to examine the relationship between family structure and adolescent drug use, with the overwhelming majority of these studies indicating that adolescent youth living in single-parent homes are statistically at greater risk for involvement in substance use. In recent years, researchers have specifically focused on reasons why such a difference in substance use is found among youth living within various family structures. Thus, mediating factors have been examined to attempt an explanation.
In addition, researchers have examined differences found among demographic variables such as sex, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. No study thus far, however, has considered the differences among Blacks and Whites living in single- and two-biological-parent homes with regard to family management, parental bonding, and family history of drug use in a single study. The purpose of this study was to examine whether or not these three potential mediating variables statistically explained family structure differences and adolescent substance use for Blacks and Whites.
Results of a multiple regression analysis including a total of 295 subjects revealed that for Blacks, there was no statistical significance between family structure and adolescent drug use. All three possible mediating variables failed to serve as significant mediators between family structure and adolescent drug use. For Whites, a significant relationship was found between family structure and adolescent drug use. Additionally, poor family management and parental bonding were found to be mediators of the relationship found. There was not a mediation effect for family history of drug use for Whites.