The development of drinking in urban American Indian adolescents: a longitudinal examination of self-derogation theory
This study examined the development of problem drinking and the relative contributions of several background variables to problem drinking in a sample of 290 urban-dwelling, American Indian* adolescents. The primary aim was to evaluate Self-Derogation Theory (SDT) and its tenets in understanding and explaining the development of adolescent problem drinking through perceived lack of success in conventional pursuits, effects on self-worth, subsequent associations with deviant peers, development of problem drinking, and countervailing effects on self-worth. Data were collected annually over nine years from 1988 to 1997, measuring family cohesion, family conflict, cultural identification, sociocultural alienation, scholastic competence, global self-worth, peer deviance, and problem drinking. Latent variable growth curve modeling (LGM) was utilized to examine longitudinal changes at both group and individual levels. Results generally supported SDT, however, problem drinking did not affect self-worth in the direction predicted by the theory. Possible explanations for and implications of these findings are discussed in terms of developmental changes during adolescence.*Throughout this paper, the terms American Indian, Native American, Indian, and Alaska Native and their initials will be used interchangeably to indicate the many peoples of native origin on this continent. This unfortunately does not reflect the heterogeneity between tribes and within tribes. Furthermore, the terms White, Caucasian, and Anglo will be used to indicate European descendents who make up the current majority population.
- Psychology