This study used primary socialization theory and a focus theory of normative conduct to examine whether anti-substance-use norms mediated targeted parent–child communication against substance (alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana) use’s effects on Latino and European American early adolescents’ intentions to intervene in a friend’s substance use. Further, this study investigated whether familism interacted with targeted parent–child communication to predict anti-substance-use norms, and whether this mediated moderation model functioned differently for Latino and European American early adolescents. Self-reported longitudinal survey data were collected from 6th-8th grade students (N = 627), attending rural IL public schools. Multigroup mediated moderation analyses revealed that as Latino and European American early adolescents engaged in targeted mother–child communication against substance use, they were more likely to develop anti-substance-use parent injunctive norms, and in turn, more likely to report anti-substance-use personal norms. Thus, they were more likely to report that if their friend used substances, they would talk to their friend, seek help from others, and end the friendship. They were, however, less likely to ignore the friend’s substance use. Familism was not a significant moderator, and the hypothesized effects did not differ for Latino and European American early adolescents. The results suggest that parents of Latino and European American adolescents may discourage substance use by engaging in targeted parent–child communication, which may indirectly benefit their children’s friends, as well.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: May 22, 2013
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