ERIC Number: EJ1163916
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Interpersonal Contact and Attitudes toward Adolescents Who Abuse Substances
Richardson, George B.; Montgomery, LaTrice; Brubaker, Michael D.
Journal of Drug Education, v46 n3-4 p113-130 Dec 2016
Only 7.6% of adolescents in need of substance abuse treatment actually receive it. Many adolescents are hesitant to seek treatment due to public stigma (i.e., negative attitudes and beliefs of the general public toward individuals who abuse substances). However, decades of research indicate that interpersonal contact with stigmatized groups helps reduce stigma. This study used structural equations and data from 638 undergraduate students to test the relationships between students' total interpersonal contact with individuals who abuse substances and their attitudes toward those individuals. We found that total contact did not have significant effects on stigma and was associated with better helping attitudes toward adolescents who abuse alcohol but not marijuana. In addition, African Americans and females endorsed greater stigmatization of adolescents who abuse alcohol but better helping attitudes toward those who had received treatment. Increasing contact with individuals who abuse substances, irrespective of type and valence, may not be widely useful as a way of improving attitudes toward such people.
Descriptors: Adolescents, Substance Abuse, Interpersonal Relationship, Undergraduate Students, Student Attitudes, Gender Differences, Racial Differences, Helping Relationship, Structural Equation Models, Factor Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A