Marijuana and cocaine use among female African-American welfare recipients

Chyvette T. Williams, Hee Soon Juon, Margaret E. Ensminger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A key issue that came to the forefront during the welfare reform debate in the United States during the 1990s concerned the relationship between welfare receipt and drug use and abuse. This paper examines the relationship between persistent welfare assistance, welfare background, and marijuana and cocaine use among African-American women. We hypothesize that women who have received welfare assistance for a period of 5 years or more will be more likely to use drugs compared to those who have never received welfare assistance or who have received it for a shorter duration. Data for this analysis comes from a longitudinal study of African-Americans living in a Chicago community followed from first grade (N=1242) to age 32. Multinomial logistic regression analyses were performed to examine the relationship between years of welfare receipt and three categories of marijuana and cocaine use (never, past, and current) among female respondents (N=496). Results indicate an increased risk of past-year cocaine and marijuana use for women who reported receiving welfare benefits for 5 years or more. Growing up in a family that received welfare did not significantly predict adult drug use, but did significantly predict an adult welfare experience. Implications of results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-191
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Volume75
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 16 2004

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Keywords

  • African-American women
  • Cocaine
  • Longitudinal study
  • Marijuana
  • Welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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