Drug Use Protective Factors among Latino Men High School Students in El Paso, TX. Andres Arvizu, Edna Martinez, Erika Jimenez Molina, and Dinora Velarde The University of Texas at El Paso Applied Research Design? Drug Use Protective Factors among Latino Men High School Students in El Paso, TX. Educational/Psychological Problem Adolescence constitutes an important period of growth in which adolescents develop physically, socially, psychologically, and cognitively (Stagman, Schwarz, & Powers, 2011).
During this time, adolescents make choices that impact their health and also develop attitudes and behaviors about their health. Among these choices stands drug use which can affect the developmental milestones of adolescence. Towey and Fleming (2006) describe that drug use in adolescence can impact the development of autonomy, the formation of intimate relationships, and the integration into adult society. Drug use increases their risk at developing dependency and addiction (The Gallup Organization, 1996) and 5% of school-age children in the United States qualify for a diagnosis of substance abuse disorder (Tarter, 2002).
As a result, they have poor health outcomes and a poor quality of life and this becomes an issue in counseling not only for developing early intervention by identifying protective factors that would increase the body of knowledge about effective strategies for drug use prevention, but also would improve existing drug prevention programs. This study focuses on protective factors since, according to Piko and Kovacs (2010), risk factors are often difficult or impossible to change. Research Question and Design
What protective factors found among the male high school aged adolescents living and attending school in the El Paso, Texas school districts are the most important protective factors that neutralize the use of different substances? The purpose of this research is to study protective factors among male high school aged adolescents in El Paso, Texas school districts in regards to substance use. We will use associational research, since the focus of the research lies in identifying how protective factors play a role in drug use among high school aged children. Hypothesis and Research Variables
We hypothesize that parental monitoring, positive family relations, and family connectedness as well as high academic achievement and positive peer influences among high school aged male students consist of important protective factors against illicit substance abuse among male high school aged students. Our independent variables consist of parental monitoring, family relations, and academic achievement. Parental monitoring practices include the expectations parents have for their teen’s behavior, actions parents take to keep track of their teen, and ways parents respond when their teen breaks the rules.
Family relations was constructed of three measures: family loyalty, family pride, and parental derogation. Academic achievement includes the adolescent attending classes, attaining high academic grades, not failing classes, participating in after-school activities, and maintaining peer relations that are not involved in illicit substance use or abuse. Our dependent variable consists of drug use tendencies which are described as the consumption of illicit and legal drugs such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, and tobacco products among high school aged male Latino students. Sampling Plan
Our target population consists of Latino male high-school-aged adolescents in El Paso, Texas school districts. Our available population consists of male high school aged adolescents in El Paso Independent School District (EPISD); the available sample may differ from the whole population on the basis of socioeconomic statuses, race and ethnic differences, as well as family relations in comparison to other school districts in El Paso, TX. The given population and the accessible population are similar in the sense that they are both feasible given the high population of Latinos in El Paso’s community.
We are interested in targeting male high school students between the age groups of 14 to 17. The sample to be collected will consist of a selection and sampling of one thousand male students within EPISD. We will conduct cluster sampling by selecting one school from each feeder pattern within the district; a feeder pattern consists of patterns that designate the school that students follow as they graduate from one level to the next; the goal is to keep students together as they graduate from elementary to middle school, and finally to high school.
From each of the schools selected from each feeder pattern, the survey will be given to only male Latino students between the ages of 14 to 17 years. Data Analyses We are interested in knowing the relationship between parental monitoring, family relations, and academic achievement as protective factors against drug use among high-school-aged male Latino students in the El Paso Independent District.
Because of this, our research consists of correlational research; we will be collecting quantitative data through the use of inferential statistics methods such as a regression analysis which will calculate the relations between our three independent variables (parental monitoring, family relations, and academic achievement) and our dependent variable (drug use tendencies) and how this one changes when one of the independent variables varies.
Anticipated Results We anticipate results to show a strong correlation between positive family relations, academic achievement, and parental monitoring as protective factors for substance use among high school-aged male, Latino students. Threats to Validity One of the threats to the internal validity of our study that in turn affects the external validity of it is that of subject characteristics threat.
Since our sample population consists of a cluster of randomly selected feeder pattern schools in the El Paso Independent School District, certain characteristics that are not accounted for in our proposal may vary among the subjects and this may affect in unintended ways the variables being studied.
Subjects may differ in ages, socioeconomic status, sociocultural background, vocabulary, reading ability, English fluency, attitudes, maturity, etc. In correlational research, a way to control for subject characteristics threat is through a statistical technique known as partial correlation, which measures the degree of the relationship between two random variables by statistically holding one or more variables constant.
Another possible threat to our study is that of a location threat, which can occur if the collection of data is carried out in places that may affect the responses of the subjects; in this case, since the collection of data will be held within the school premises, responses from subjects might be affected by the presence of school personnel or fear that the responses will be handed out to school administration.
This location threat will be controlled through the use of protocols for administering the surveys: the surveys will be administered by only the data collectors; there will be no school administrators or personnel present during the collection of data and all data collected will be confidential and only accessible by the data collectors and researchers to protect the confidentiality of the subjects.
As mentioned before, the major threat to the external validity or generalizability of our study consists of the characteristics of our sample. Since our sample will only consist of selected feeder pattern schools from the EPISD, the results obtain will only be limited to this particular sample and not generalizable to the entirety of the Latino male high school population of El Paso, TX.
Individual subject characteristics are also important to take note in order to report the limitations of our study, there are variables that might not be studied that can affect the dependent variable. A form to account for the generalizability of our results consists of replication; our study can be replicated using different subjects in different locations or school districts in El Paso in order to evaluate the generalizability of our findings.
Furthermore, a detailed description of subject characteristics is necessary in order to provide sufficient information that might impact the generalizability of the results found by the study. Human Subjects Since our research will involve children, a vulnerable population, the type of review that we will require consists of Full Review. There are no possible harm that a participant may experience associated with this research study.
Possible issues with confidentiality consist of obtaining informed consent from the parents or legal guardians of the students and obtaining informed assent from the underage students who will participate in our study; parents may want to know the responses of their children and the school administration might also be interested in knowing specifics about the responses; in order to keep our results confidential and anonymous, subjects will not be identified and will remain anonymous on the surveys and data collectors and researchers will be the only authorized people to collect, handle, and analyze the information obtained.