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Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine the influence of traditional risk and protective factors for drug use on six different popular drugs on a population that is primarily Black and Latino between the ages of 16 and 24. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the relative importance of risk and protective indexes, and their interaction, in predicting drug use. Findings suggested: (a) traditional risk and protective factors, as well as situationally specific factors such as gang involvement, predicted drug use; and
(b) the relative contribution of risk and protective factors toward explained variances differs substantially among the drug outcomes. Thus, risk and protective factors may be operating differently for different drugs, indicating that more research is needed into the meanings associated with the use of particular drugs and the factors that may make youth vulnerable to some drugs but not others.

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