Native, Indigenous, youth, substance use, family


This exploratory, qualitative study examined risk and protective factors influencing drug and alcohol use and/or resistance of Native youth in the Southwest. Thirty-two Native middle school students participated in 10 focus groups that explored their experiences with alcohol and drugs in their school and reservation communities. The findings indicate a complex interaction of both risk and protective factors related to substance use. Respondents' cousins and siblings, in particular, played a key role in their decisions to use or resist drugs. Implications for social work practice are discussed.

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