• Journal Article

Gang membership and marijuana use among African American female adolescents in North Carolina

Citation

Wechsberg, W., Doherty, I., Browne, F., Kline, T., Carry, M. G., Raiford, J. L., & Herbst, J. H. (2015). Gang membership and marijuana use among African American female adolescents in North Carolina. Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, 6, 141-150. DOI: 10.2147/SAR.S93304

Abstract

The southeastern US sustains the highest high school dropout rates, and gangs persist in underserved communities. African American female adolescents who drop out of school and are gang members are at substantial risk of exposure to severe violence, physical abuse, and sexual exploitation. In this study of 237 female African American adolescents 16-19 years of age from North Carolina who dropped out or considered dropping out, 11% were current or past gang members. Adolescents who reported gang membership began smoking marijuana at a mean age of 13, whereas those who reported no gang membership began at a mean age of 15 years (P