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  1. Does Intra-household Contagion Cause an Increase in Prescription Opioid Use?

    Opioid use claims many thousands of lives each year. This article considers the diffusion of prescription opioid (PO) use within family households as one potential culprit of the proliferation of these medications. In an analysis of hundreds of millions of medical claims and almost 14 million opioid prescriptions in one state between 2010 and 2015, we show that the use of POs spreads within family households.

  2. Weathering, Drugs, and Whack-a-Mole: Fundamental and Proximate Causes of Widening Educational Inequity in U.S. Life Expectancy by Sex and Race, 1990–2015

    Discussion of growing inequity in U.S. life expectancy increasingly focuses on the popularized narrative that it is driven by a surge of “deaths of despair.” Does this narrative fit the empirical evidence? Using census and Vital Statistics data, we apply life-table methods to calculate cause-specific years of life lost between ages 25 and 84 by sex and educational rank for non-Hispanic blacks and whites in 1990 and 2015. Drug overdoses do contribute importantly to widening inequity for whites, especially men, but trivially for blacks.

  3. Immigrant Generation, Stress Exposure, and Substance Abuse among a South Florida Sample of Hispanic Young Adults

    Existing research finds that succeeding immigrant generations are at greater risk for mental health problems as well as higher levels of substance use. Previous studies have attempted to unpack the role of acculturation stress, discrimination, and other factors in these outcomes. Using data from a community-based sample of Miami-Dade County young adults, we use an empirically and theoretically precise measurement of generational status, allowing us to better understand the process of acculturation and adaptation experienced by each generation.

  4. Understanding the Link between Victimization and Alcohol Use among Homeless Youth Using Ecological Momentary Assessment

    Most prior research on victimization and alcohol use among homeless youth is retrospective and thus does not allow researchers to determine the sequencing of these events. We address this gap using ecological momentary assessment via short message service surveying with homeless youth during 30 days. Multilevel binary logistic regression results revealed that experiencing physical or sexual victimization on a specific day was positively associated with youth’s drinking alcohol later that day.
  5. The Family Framework in a Drug Treatment Court

    Drug courts reflect an expanding effort to transform the state’s response to drug crimes. Such programs merge punitive and therapeutic strategies in efforts to rehabilitate clients. The author takes the case of one drug court to elaborate on a set of institutional practices characterizing this mode of intervention.
  6. Marijuana’s Moral Entrepreneurs, Then and Now

    comparing more than eight decades of anti-marijuana rhetoric shows how both anti-drug crusader harry j. anslinger and current attorney general jeff sessions fashioned themselves into national-level moral entrepreneurs.

  7. Multiple Dimensions of Peer Effects and Deviance: The Case of Prescription Drug Misuse among Young Adults

    Sociological research has demonstrated that peers play a role in patterns of deviance. Yet, examinations of competing mechanisms in continued patterns of deviance are less well developed. We simultaneously examine multiple peer mechanisms of action on prescription drug misuse. Results identify drug sources, peer group norms, and a desire to enhance social experiences as important factors in the frequency of misuse, non-oral administration, and dependence, whereas peer pressure had no effect net of other peer factors.
  8. College-going and Trajectories of Drinking from Adolescence into Adulthood

    Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Volume 58, Issue 2, Page 252-269, June 2017.
  9. Binge Drinking and Depression: The Influence of Romantic Partners in Young Adulthood

    Although research shows that spouses influence each other’s health behaviors and psychological well being, we know little about whether these patterns extend to young people in nonmarital as well as marital relationships. We use the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health to consider how a romantic partner’s binge drinking and depression influence the respondent’s binge drinking and depression within 1,111 young adult couples and explore whether these processes are moderated by gender.
  10. Study Uses Geo-Mapping to Identify ‘Hot Spots’ for Use of Fentanyl and Other Opiates

    As the U.S. experiences sharp increases in drug overdoses, researchers in Delaware are using geo-mapping to look at the state, neighborhood by neighborhood, to identify “hot spots” where the use of prescription fentanyl — an extremely powerful synthetic opiate, which recently attracted national attention as the drug that caused Prince’s death — and other opiates is especially prevalent.