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Educational policy analysis archives.
n Vol. 15, no. 22 (December 11, 2007).
Tempe, Ariz. :
b Arizona State University ;
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida.
c December 11, 2007
School commitment and alcohol use : the moderating role of race and ethnicity / Tamela McNulty Eitle [and] David James Eitle.
Arizona State University.
University of South Florida.
t Education Policy Analysis Archives (EPAA)
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Readers are free to copy display, and distribute this article, as long as the work is attributed to the author(s) and Education Policy Analysis Archives, it is distributed for noncommercial purposes only, and no alte ration or transformation is made in the work. More details of this Creative Commons license are available at http:/ /creativecommons.org/licen ses/by-nc-nd/2.5/. All other uses must be approved by the author(s) or EPAA EPAA is published jointly by the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education at Arizona State Universi ty and the College of Educ ation at the University of South Florida. Articles are indexed by H.W. Wilson & Co. Please contribute commentary at http://epaa.info/wordpress/ and send errata notes to Sherman Dorn (firstname.lastname@example.org). EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES A peer-reviewed scholarly journal Editor: Sherman Dorn College of Education University of South Florida Volume 15 Number 22 Decemb er 11, 2007 I SSN 1068Â–2341 School Commitment an d Alcohol Use: The Moderating Role of Race and Ethnicity1 Tamela McNulty Eitle David James Eitle Montana State University Citation: Eitle, T. M., & Eitle, D. J. (2007). School commitment and alcohol use: The moderating role of race and ethnicity. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 15 (22). Retrieved [date] fr om http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v15n22/. Abstract Research indicates that lo wer levels of school commi tment may be one potential outcome of policy initiatives such as hi gh-stakes testing and exit exams. Such outcomes may lead these pol icy initiatives to have un intended consequences for students, particularly racial or ethnic minority students. This study examines whether race or ethnicity moderate the rela tionship between school commitment and alcohol use or binge dr inking among a sample of Florida public middle and high-school students who were surveyed as part of the 2002 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey. Low school commitment was found to be associated with a greater likelihood of alcoho l use in the past 30 days and a greater likelihood of binge drinking during the pa st two weeks for Black, Hi spanic, and White students. Both the higher average levels of sch ool commitment among Black and Hispanic than among white students and the gr eater association be tween low school 1 Financial assistance for this study was provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (grant number R01 AA13167) and the National Institut e of Drug Abuse (grant number R01 DA018645-01A1). We gratefully acknowledge Michael French and members of the Health Economics Research Group (HERG) for their research suggestions and William Russell fo r editorial assistance. The authors are entirely responsible for the research and results reported in this paper, and their position or opinions do not ne cessarily represent those of NIAAA or NIDA.
Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 15 No. 22 2 commitment and the two alcohol use outcomes for Black and Hispanic students compared to White students account for so me of the difference in alcohol use and binge drinking among the different groups. Keywords: alcohol use; racial difference; adolescence. Compromiso escolar y uso de alcohol: El papel moderador de la raza y la etnicidad Resumen Investigaciones indica n que bajos niveles de compro miso escolar pueden ser uno de los posibles resultados de las iniciativas de polticas educativas como las pruebas finales y exmenes de Â“consecuencias se verasÂ”. Estas iniciativas podran tener consecuencias no deseadas para los estu diantes de escuelas secundarias, en particular, para aquellos estudiantes de mi noras raciales o tnicas. Este estudio examina los datos de una muestra con estudi antes secundarios de escuelas pblicas de la Florida que contestaro n la encuesta sobre abuso de drogas del estado de Florida en el ao 2002 para determinar si la raza o el origen tnico moderan la relacin entre el compromiso escolar y el consumo alcohol. Niveles de bajo compromiso con la escuela estaban asociados con una mayor probab ilidad de uso del alcohol en los ltimos 30 das y un ma yor riesgo de emborracharse durante las ltimas dos semanas entre estudiantes ne gros, hispanos, y blancos. Tanto los niveles ms altos de compro miso escolar de los estudi antes negros e hispanos respecto de los estudiantes blancos y la mayor asociacin entre el bajo compromiso escolar y el uso del alcohol para los estu diantes negros e hisp anos en comparacin con estudiantes blancos dan cuenta de algunas de las diferencias en el uso del alcohol entre los diferentes grupos. Palabras clave: uso de alcohol; diferencias raciales; adolescencia. Prior studies of the association between school bonds and alcohol use have largely found that the stronger a studentÂ’s affective bond to sc hooling and commitment to educational goals, the less likely that student is to engage in delin quency (Anderson, Holmes & Ostresh, 1999; Crum, Ensminger, Ro & McCord, 1998; Jenkins, 1997) and, more specifically, substance use (Bahr, Marcos, Anastasios & Maughan, 1995; Costa, Jessor & Turbin, 1999; Mason & Windle, 2001; SimonsMorton, et al., 1999; Sutherland & Shepherd, 20 01). While these studies have increased our understanding of the association between various school bonds (including school commitment) and teen delinquency, important questions remain unans wered. For instance, it has yet to be determined whether race or ethnicity moderates the school co mmitment/alcohol use association. Although several studies have addressed this question, th ey provide inconsistent answers and suffer from a few limitationsÂ—the use of relative ly small samples comprised of students from a single school or district, the failure to include Hispanics in analyses and the failure to include alcohol use singularly as an outcome. To overcome these limitations, the present study reexamines the role of race and ethnicity as a moderator of the school commitment/alcohol use a ssociation by utilizing survey data administered to a random sample of middle and high school stud ents from public schools in Florida. We explore the moderating role of race and ethnicity for the relationship between school commitment and alcohol use. Policy initiatives such as high-stakes tests and exit exams have been linked to lower levels of school commitment (Orfield & Kornhabe r, 2001; McNeil, 2000). It is important to
School Commitment and Alcohol Use 3 investigate both the intended and unintended outcomes of these initiatives, especially if the impact may differ by racial and ethnic group. Criminologists have found that other school re lated variables, including school commitment, are strong predictors of delinquency and teen sub stance use (Anderson, et al., 1999; Bahr et al., 1995; Costa, et al., 1999; Crum et al., 1998; Hawkins, Catalano & Miller, 1992 ; Jenkins, 1997; Jessor, Van Den Bos, Vanderryn, Costa & Turbin, 1995 ; Maguin & Loeber, 1996; Mason & Windle, 2001; Simons-Morton et al., 1999; Sutherland & Shepherd 2001). Indeed, some scholars have suggested that school bonds are among the strongest predic tors of delinquency and substance use (Empey, 1982; Kelly & Balch, 1971). Most of these prior studies of the association between school bonds and teen delinquency have been grounded in the logic of social control theory (Hirschi, 1969), but school and education-related variables are at the he art of several other explanations of delinquency and substance use as well (e.g., cultural deviance th eory, strain theory, conflict theory and labeling theory) (Cernkovich & Giordano, 1992). Social cont rol theory posits that the presence of multiple strong bonds to conventional institutions and others will dissuade individuals from acting purely in their own self-interest, which in turn will dissuade hedonistic behavior such as alcohol abuse. Hirschi (1969) argued that the quality of an adolescentÂ’s bonds to family, friends, and school is the most important predictor of delinquency, including substance use. The bonds between student and school can be affective, the quality Hirschi refers to as attachment (e.g., emotional ties to teachers and school officials); goal-oriented, which he calls commitment (e.g., desire to succeed, degree of commitment to academic pursuits); behavioral, which he calls involvement (e.g., school performance, attendance patterns, paying attention in class); or value-oriented, which he calls belief (e.g., believing that school rules are fair and evenly enforced). St udents who are not emotionally close to teachers, are disinterested in school, and put little or no effort into educational achievement are at greater risk for involvment in deviance generally and alc ohol use specifically (Maguin & Loeber, 1996). Social control theory predicts that students, regardless of race or ethnicity, who lack commitment to educational goals are more likely to become involved in such behaviors as alcohol use. Yet there are reasons to suspect that such factors might not be similarly related to alcohol use across racial and ethnic groups. A number of stud ies have found that Blacks and other minorities perform more poorly in school than Whites and de monstrate lower levels of commitment to school than Whites (Fordham & Ogbu, 1986; Jenkins, 1995, 1997; Steinberg, Brown & Dornbusch, 1996), suggesting that the school experience is qualit atively different for minorities and that such differences may affect the ability of school bonds to influence delinquent behavior (McAdoo, 1988; see also Cernkovich & Giordano, 1992). Research has identified several factors that may be predictive of lower commitment to educational goals and inferior academic performance in Nonwhites as compared to Whites: evidence of racial -bias in testing and student placement, lower teacher expectations for Black and Hispanic students as compared to Whites, belief among many Black and minority students that discriminatory mechanisms limit the opportunity to translate educational success into adult accomplishment, and the stigmatization of Â“acting whiteÂ” directed by Black peers at Black students who work hard in school (Alexander, Entwisle & Bedinger, 1994; Cernkovich & Girodano, 1992; Farkas, Lleras & Maczuga, 2002; Johnson, Crosnoe & Elder, Jr., 2001; Ogbu, 1988, 1997). However, other studies suggest that Black and Hispanic students (particularly recent immigrants) actually display greater levels of school attachment than non-Hispanic White students (Ainsworth-Darnell & Downey, 1998; Downey & Ains worth-Darnell, 2002; Farkas et al., 2002) and that certain Black males display a pro-educationa l attitude (MacLeod, 1987). Furthermore, some research suggests that school commitment and good academic performance are important protective factors against alcohol and illicit drug use fo r Hispanics (Flannery, Vazsonyi & Rowe, 1996;
Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 15 No. 22 4 Marsiglia, Miles, Dustman & Sills, 2002; Seydlita & Jenkins, 1998; Swaim, Bates & Chavez, 1998; Vega, Gil, Warheit, Zimmerman & Apospori, 1993). Clearly, many questions remain unanswered regarding the effect of race/ethnicity on the strength of student-school bonds and on the association between these bonds and adolescent alcohol use. While previous research suggests th at there may be important racial and ethnic differences in the strength of school bonds, the evidence is unclear and inconsistent. Further complicating matters is the finding that Black teens use alcohol less frequently than Whites, with Hispanic use varying greatly across studies (Cha vez & Swaim, 1992; Oetting & Beauvais, 1990; Warheit, Vega, Khoury, Gil & Elfenbein, 1996; Wi ndle, 1991) and by group (Cervantes, Gilbert, DeSnyder & Padilla, 1990; Warheit et al, 1996 ). This finding, in conjunction with the aforementioned evidence regarding the average level of school bonding by racial/ethnic group, suggests that a lower level of school bonding is not as serious a risk factor for minority students as it is for Whites. In other words, while differences in the level of school bonding may be predictive of the likelihood of alcohol use among non-Hispanic Whi tes, they may be of littl e predictive utility for explaining the likelihood of alcohol use among Blac ks and Hispanics. Yet very little research has examined whether race moderates the strength of the association between school bonds and delinquency generally, and school bond s and alcohol use specifically. Only a few studies have actually explored the possible conditioning influence of race/ethnicity on the school bonds/dlinquency association. Cernkovich and Giordano (1992) examined a neighborhood sample of 942 teens and found that the association between school bonds and a general scale of delinquency was invariant across Black and White student subgroups. Likewise, Williams, Ayers, Abbott, Hawkins, and Catalano (1999) found among a sample of 567 adolescents that race (defined as Black or White; Hispanics were not considered) was generally an unimportant factor in conditioning the relations hips between risk factors, including school bonds, and substance use. Only one published study suggests that the impact that school bonds can have on teen delinquency is dependent upon the race/ethnicity of the teen. Using a national sample of students, Hoffman and Xu (2002) found that under certain c onditions school involvement (i.e., the number of activities that a student participated in at school ) was positively associated with general delinquency for Black students and negatively associated with delinquency for non-Black students, albeit slightly so. However, this study only explored the association between school involvement and general delinquency, which prior research suggests may be the least influential school bond with regard to delinquency (e.g., Cernkovich & Giordano, 1992; Welsh, Greene & Jenkins, 1999). While the studies outlined above make important contributions to our understanding of how race may condition the association between teen deviance and school bonds, more definitive answers will require additional research. These earlie r studies suffer from several limitations. First, those that failed to find evidence of a moderating role for race/ethnicity in the school bond/delinquency association were based on relatively small samples from a single school or school district. This raises concerns about both genera lizability and diminished statistical power to detect differences, particularly when attempting to dete ct statistical significance with interaction terms (McClelland & Judd, 1993). Second, relatively few of the previous studies have included Hispanics, despite the growing proportion of Hispanic students in the United States (Ramirez & de la Cruz, 2002). And third, the focus on general scales of delinquency or substance use may mask important differences in the association between school bonds and particular types of deviant behavior or substance use. The current study examines the role of race and ethnicity as a moderator of the association between school bonding and alcohol use. Our focus on alcohol use stems from past research that suggests that alcohol use is prevalent among high school students and does vary by race/ethnicity.
School Commitment and Alcohol Use 5 In addition most research on alcohol use tends to focus exclusively on White-middle class teens (Costa et al., 1999; Mason & Windle, 2001; Stacy, Newcomb & Bentler, 1992). Although there are many aspects of school bonds to examine, we foc us on school commitment. We chose this focus in response to evidence suggesting that school commit ment is the strongest of the school bonds in predicting delinquency (Jenkins, 1997; Krohn & Massey, 1980). Methods Data for this study is derived from the Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey (FYSAS) administered during the 2001Â–2002 school year. FY SAS is an annual survey of Florida middle and high school students conducted by a multi-agen cy workgroup that includes the Departments of Education, Health, Juvenile Justice, and Child ren and Families. Based on Hawkins and CatalanoÂ’s Communities That Care Youth Survey (CTCYS) (Hawki ns et al., 1992), the survey is designed to assess substance use behavior and salient family, school, peer, individual, and community risk and protective factors. A two-stage cluster sample was employed in which groups of middle and high schools were randomly selected to participate and th en classrooms within each selected school were randomly selected. Teachers administered the surveys and each student was given a survey envelope in which to place their survey before returning them to the teacher. Teachers reviewed the instructions with their students and both the teacher and the written instructions on the survey assured students that the survey responses were anonymous and confidential (Florida Department of Children and Families, 2003). The study design wa s to produce a sample representative of county levels, which correspond to each school district (6 7 total districts/counties) in the state. For the present analyses, only those middle and high sc hool respondents who provided complete grade level, gender, and alcohol use information were incl uded in the study. In addition, the study was limited to those students who identified themselv es as White, Black, or Hispanic. This screening produced a sample of 38,568 students. A STATA 8.0 regression procedure was employed to impute missing values for cases with missing data for th e predictors (excluding race, gender, and grade level). The survey data was weighted to adjust for de viations in the representativeness of the sample from its corresponding population. A comprehensiv e discussion of the methodology of the survey, including the sampling plan and weighting strategy, is available in the 2002 FYSAS State Reports (see FDCF, 2003). Dependent Variables Two dependent variables are used in this study: alcohol use and binge drinking. Alcohol use, while a common behavior in American adolescen t culture, is an illegal behavior and among adolescents has been found to be associated with risky and illegal behaviors (OÂ’Malley & Johnston, 2003), increasing emotional distress (Crosnoe, Muller & Frank, 2004), and other negative psychological outcomes that may impact later lif e stages (Chassin, Pitts & DeLucia, 1999; Schulenberg & Maggs, 2002). Consistent with prior research (Chuang, Ennett, Bauman & Foshee, 2005; Fagan and Najman, 2005), alco hol use is measured as a dummy variable derived from the selfreported number of times that a student used alcohol (more than just a sip or two) in the past 30 days. It was measured based on responses to th e following prompt: Â“On how many occasions (if any) have you had beer, wine or hard liquor during the past 30 days?Â” Prior research has identified binge drinking as a measure of problem drinking (Wallisch & Spence, 2006; Higgins, Tewksbury & Mustaine, 2007). We measure bing e drinking using a dummy variable derived from the self-reported
Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 15 No. 22 6 number of times that a student en gaged in binge drinking in the pa st two weeks. It was measured based on responses to the following prompt: Â“On how many occasions (if any) have you had 5 or more drinks of beer, wine or hard liquor during the past two weeks?Â” Independent Variables The primary variable of interest in these anal yses is the school bond measure. Low school commitment is measured as a seven-item scale comprised of answers to the following questions: (a) Â“How often do you feel that the school work you are assigned is meaningful and important?Â”, (b) Â“How interesting are most of your courses to you?Â”, (c) Â“How important do you think the things you are learning in school are going to be for your later life?Â”, (d) Â“Now, thinking back over the past year in school, how often did you enjoy being in school, [(e)]hate being in school, [(f)] try to do your best work in school?Â”, and (g) Â“During the last four weeks, how many whole days have you missed because you skipped or cut?Â” Items were reverse coded where applicable. Higher scores indicate lower levels of commitment to school and education (CronbachÂ’s = .76). In addition to the measure of school commitment, we include an array of control variables to reduce concerns about spuriousness. Family re lated variables suggested by prior research and social control theory are controlled for in this study. Included among these variables are family structure, family substance use, parental supervision, parental discipline, family attachment, parental education, and mobility. Each of these factors has been found to be a salient predictor of adolescent substance use (Brook, Brook, Scovell, Whiteman & Cohen, 1990; Ellickson & Morton, 1999; Vakalahi, 2002). Family structure is indicated by a set of dummy variables. The possible categories are single-parent families and blended families (i .e., step parent families and other family arrangements), with a respondent living with two pa rents serving as the reference category. Family substance use is measured with a three-item scale comprised of answers to the following questions: (a) Â“Has anyone in your family ever had a seve re alcohol or drug problem?Â” and Â“About how many adults have you known personally who in the past ye ar have [(b)] used marijuana, crack, cocaine, or other drugs [(c)] or gotten drunk or high? Higher scores represent greater family substance use (CronbachÂ’s = .71). Poor parental supervision is measur ed with a six-item scale comprised of answers to the following questions: (a) Â“My parent s ask if IÂ’ve got my homework done,Â” (b) Â“My parents want me to call if IÂ’m going to be late getting home,Â” (c) Â“Would your parents know if you did not come home on time?Â”, (d) Â“When I am at home, one of my parents knows where I am and who I am with,Â” (e) Â“The rules in my family are clear,Â” and (f) Â“My family has clear rules about alcohol and drug use.Â” Higher scores in dicate lower family supervision (CronbachÂ’s = .68). Poor parental discipline is measured with a three-i tem scale comprised of answers to the following questions: (a) Â“If you drank some beer, wine, or li quor without your parentsÂ’ permission, would you be caught by your parents?Â”, (b) Â“If you skipped school, would you be caught by your parents?Â”, and (c) Â“If you carried a handgun without your parentsÂ’ permission, would you be caught by your parents?Â” Higher scores indicate lower family discipline (CronbachÂ’s = .84). Parental attachment is measured with a four-item scale comprised of ans wers to the following questions: (a) Â“Do you feel very close to your mother?Â”, (b) Â“Do you share your thoughts and feelings with your mother?Â”, (c) Â“Do you feel very close to your father?Â”, and (d ) Â“Do you share your thoughts and feelings with your father?Â” Higher scores indicate gr eater parental attachment (CronbachÂ’s = .74). Parental education is indicated by a set of dummy variables. It is captured as the highest reported schooling for the more educated parent, if there are two pa rents present, and coded as Â“high school graduateÂ” or Â“college graduateÂ”, with Â“less than a high sc hool graduateÂ” serving as the reference category.
School Commitment and Alcohol Use 7 Finally, mobility is measured with a four-item scal e comprised of answers to the following questions: (a) Â“Have you changed homes in the past year?Â”, (b) Â“How many times have you changed homes since kindergarten?Â”, (c) Â“Have you changed schools in the past year?Â”, and (d) Â“How many times have you changed school since kindergarten?Â” High er scores indicate a greater history of mobility (CronbachÂ’s = .67). Other important risk factors suggested by so cial control theory, peer use and poor school performance, are also included. Peer use is measur ed with a four-item scale comprised of answers to the following questions, which are asked after th e respondent has been instructed to think about his/her best friends: (a) Â“In the past year, how ma ny of your best friends have smoked cigarettes?Â”, (b) Â“In the past year, how many of your best friend s have tried beer, wine, or hard liquor when their parents didnÂ’t know about it?Â”, (c) Â“In the past year, how many of your best friends have used marijuana?Â”, and (d) Â“In the past year, how many of your best friends have used LSD, cocaine, amphetamines, or other illegal drugs?Â” Higher scor es on the peer use scale indicate greater exposure to substance using peers (CronbachÂ’s = .84). Poor school performan ce is measured as a two-item scale comprised of answers to the following quest ions: (a) Â“Putting them all together, what were your grades like last year?Â” and (b) Â“Are your school grades better than the grades of most students in your class?Â” Higher scores indicate lower grades (CronbachÂ’s =.58). Finally, two established neighborhood risk and protective factors are also included in the analyses as control variables. The respondentÂ’s perceived level of low neighborhood attachment (CronbachÂ’s = .89) and the level of community diso rganization (i.e., the extent to which communities are disorganized in their efforts to socialize children and solve community problems; CronbachÂ’s = .80) have been found to be associated with a variety of social problems, including juvenile substance use (Bell, Carlson & Richard, 1998 ). Gender and grade level are also included in the analyses because of their established associations with adolescent substance use (Ellickson & Morton, 1999; Hawkins et al., 1992). Analytic Strategy The analyses begin with a comparison of the ra cial/ethnic group mean levels or proportions for the measures of alcohol use, binge drinking, and school commitment. An adjusted Wald test of significant differences (for the various pairs) or a chi-square test is used to determine whether the group differences in means or proportions are statisti cally significant. Logistic regression analyses are conducted for each racial/ethnic group sample on two different dichotomous measures of alcohol use: alcohol use and binge drinking. Alternative cutpoints for the dependent variables (contrasts distinguishing between infrequent drinking/binge drinking and more frequent drinking/binge drinking) were also explored and were consistent wi th the results and interpretations presented here. All the analyses are conducted using commands in STATA 8.0 that utilize a survey estimation method to correct for clustering of observati ons and unequal probability sampling procedures (StataCorp, 2004). Included in this estimation meth od is the calculation of Huber standard errors (Huber, 1967), which we use to determine the sign ificance of coefficient estimates. Next, to explore possible differences between raci al/ethnic groups in the effect of school commitment on alcohol use and binge drinking, logistic regression coeffi cients for the measure of school commitment is compared across models using AllisonÂ’s (1999) test of logit coefficients across groups. This Wald chi-square test removes the potential confoundin g effects of unobserved heterogeneity that may produce observed but ingenuine differences in logit coefficients across groups allowing for a test of
Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 15 No. 22 8 whether the effect of school commitment on alcohol use and binge drinking differs significantly across racial/ethnic groups (Allison, 1999). Results Table 1 presents the means for the key variables for each of the racial/ethnic group samples. These descriptive statistics suggest that signif icant differences do exist across categories of race/ethnicity on the two measures of alcohol use and on the measure of school commitment. Our results indicate significant racial/ethnic differen ces in school commitment, with Whites reporting the lowest school commitment (highest scores on the school commitment scale), followed by Hispanics, and Black students reporting the highes t levels of commitment (lowest scores on the low school commitment scale). Table 1 Descriptive statistics for select variables fo r White, Black, and Hi spanic respondents Indicator Total Sample Black Hispanic White Percent reporting drinking alcohol in the last 30 days a 32.7% 8.1%29.3% 42.9% Percent reporting binge drinking (5 or more drinks in one setting) in the last two weeks a 24.4% 3.7%16.4% 33.7% Mean low school commitment (ranges from 0 to 4) b 1.47 1.191.33 1.60 Unweighted N 38,568 9,934 3,218 25,416 Note: Statistics are calculat ed using survey weights. a Differences significant across groups significant at p <.05, using Design based Chi-square test b Black-White difference significant at p < .05, using Adjusted Wald test As expected, the analyses also reveal significan t differences across racial/ethnic groups in the measures of alcohol use and binge drinking. Whi tes report the greatest proportion of alcohol users in the past 30 days (0.43), followed by Hispanics (0.29) and Blacks (0.08). Similarly, Whites report the greatest proportion of binge drin king in the past two weeks (0.34), followed by Hispanics (0.16) and Blacks (0.04). Prior research supports this find ing of a differential pattern of alcohol use across race/ethnicity groups (e.g., Costa et al., 1999; Warheit et al., 1996). The multivariate logistic regression analyses of alcohol use on low school commitment and the control variables are presented in Table 2. For Black students, nine of the control variables are found to be associated with the likelihood of alc ohol use. With the exception of the family structure measures and poor school performance, each signif icant association is in the expected direction. Low school commitment is associated with alcohol use for Black students. As expected, Black students reporting lower school commitment are more likely to use alcohol than their counterparts. This finding is consistent with prior research that has found low commitment to be associated with substance use (Hawkins et al., 1992; Jenkins, 1997; Krohn & Massey, 1980; Mason & Windle, 2001).
School Commitment and Alcohol Use 9 Table 2 Logistic regression of alcohol use on low school commitment for midd le and high school students Black Hispanic White Variable beta ( se ) beta ( se ) beta ( se ) Grade level (7th-12th) .102 (.095) .160*** (.030) .220*** (.054) Gender .750** (.259) -.159 (.110) .206 (.179) Parent h.s. graduate -.024 (.278) -.343* (.141) .454** (.170) Parent college graduate -.691 (.397) -.180 (.153) .019 (.083) Low neighborhood attachment -.117 (.117) -.090 (.058) -.010 (.090) Community disorganization .295* (.137) -.367 (.103) .327* (.145) Mobility .322* (.131) .027 (.046) -.056 (.070) Poor family discipline .470* (.216) .240*** (.066) .718*** (.144) Poor family supervision -.052 (.206) .173 (.114) -.253 (.157) Parental attachment -.006 (.121) .060 (.082) .125 (.134) Family substance use .577*** (.082) .340*** (.047) .322*** (.060) Peer substance use .770*** (.081) .746*** (.051) 1.114*** (.068) Single parent family -.575* (.259) -.079 (.134) .124 (.217) Blended family -.630* (.264) -.091 (.126) -.105 (.175) Poor school performance -.561* (.217) -.045 (.086) .087 (.072) Low school commitment bw, hw .592*** (.166) .422*** (.084) .385*** (.109) Constant -5.008*** (.634) -3.272*** (.319) -5.290*** (.571) F (16, 540) 15.38 54.80 51.69 p <.05; ** p <.01; *** p <.001 (two-tailed tests) bw indicates that the coefficients for the Black an d White models for the specified variable are significantly different at p<.05. hw indicates that the coefficients for the Hispanic and White models for the specified variable are significantly different at p<.05.
Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 15 No. 22 10 Table 3 Logistic regression of binge drinking on low school commitment for middle and high school students Black Hispanic White Variable beta ( se ) beta ( se ) beta ( se ) Grade level (7th-12th) .108 (.097) .198*** (.039) .234*** (.056) Gender .648* (.253) -.149 (.127) .576** (.208) Parent h.s. graduate .035 (.316) .044 (.204) .387* (.190) Parent college graduate -.640 (.389) .149 (.208) -.014 (.192) Low neighborhood attachment .042 (.121) -.061 (.070) -.169 (.098) Community disorganization .307 (.158) .055 (.115) .506** (.167) Mobility .175 (.104) .079 (.064) -.308*** (.086) Poor family discipline .503* (.219) .280*** (.078) .789*** (.162) Poor family supervision .015 (.218) .144 (.128) -.421* (.170) Parental attachment -.009 (.158) .023 (.090) -.224 (.142) Family substance use .496*** (.102) .214*** (.047) .323*** (.059) Peer substance use .868*** (.097) .680*** (.066) 1.095*** (.071) Single parent family -.235 (.303) -.129 (.156) -.195 (.253) Blended family -.147 (.288) .080 (.137) -.448* (.219) Poor school performance -.211 (.199) .222* (.094) .403*** (.078) Low school commitment bw, hw .387* (.174) .335** (.111) .315** (.091) Constant -6.651*** (.778) -4.848*** (.391) -5.685*** (.484) F (16, 540) 8.47 28.32 49.47 p <.05; ** p <.01; *** p <.001 (two-tailed tests) bw indicates that the coefficients for the Black an d White models for the specified variable are significantly different at p<.05. hw indicates that the coefficients for the Hispanic and White models for the specified variable are significantly different at p<.05.
School Commitment and Alcohol Use 11 For Hispanic students, five of the control va riables are found to be associated with the likelihood of alcohol use, and all of these associat ions are in the expected direction. In addition, Hispanic students with lower school commitment are more likely to use alcohol than students with higher school commitment. Similarly the analyses of the White student sample reveals that six of the control variables are associated with alcohol use and White students with lower school commitment are more likely to use alcohol than stud ents with higher school commitment. The three individual racial/ethnic group models show similar but not identical results. To explore whether there are differences across racial /ethnic groups in the association between school commitment and alcohol use, we test whether there are statistical differences in the coefficient estimates for low school commitment across the thr ee models. For each racial group, the models indicate that lower school commitment is associat ed with a greater likelihood of alcohol use. However, a Wald chi-square test reveals that the size of the effect of lower school commitment is greater for Blacks and Hispanics than for Whites A one-unit increase in low school commitment increases the odds of drinking by a factor of 1.81 for Black students, 1.52 for Hispanic students, and 1.47 for White students. The results of a second set of logistic regre ssion models predicting the likelihood of binge drinking are presented in Table 3. Once again, each set of columns represents a different racial/ethnic group sample beginning with the Blac k student sample. Four of the control variables are found to be associated with binge drinki ng for Black students. The measure of school commitment is also significant. Black students with low school commitment are more likely to engage in binge drinking than thos e who are more committed to school. The binge drinking model for Hispanic students is also reported in Table 3. Five of the control variables are significant in the expected di rections. In addition, Hispanic students with low school commitment are more likely to binge drink than those with higher school commitment. For White students, ten of the control variables are asso ciated with binge drinking. Similar to Hispanic and Black students, White students with low school commitment are more likely to binge drink. However, the effects of low school commitment ar e statistically different across racial/ethnic groups. Again, a Wald chi-square test reveals that the size of the effect of lower school commitment is greater for Blacks and Hispanics than for Whites. A one-unit increase in low school commitment increases the odds of binge drinking by a factor of 1.47 for Black students, 1.40 for Hispanic students, and 1.37 for White students. Discussion The present study examined the associations between school commitment and the likelihood of both alcohol use and binge drinking among a sa mple of Florida public middle and high school students. Low school commitment was found to be a ssociated with a greater likelihood of alcohol use in the past 30 days and a greater likelihood of binge drinking during the past two weeks for Black, Hispanic, and White students. So the results provide added support for the notion that school commitment is an important protective factor for alcohol use and binge drinking for all students. However, the effect of low school commitment for bot h outcomes is greater for Black and Hispanic students than for White students. It is important to remember that both Black and Hispanic students report significantly lower proportions of alcohol use and binge drinking than Whites in the first place and that Blacks report significantly higher levels of school commitment than White students. Given these two conditions, the key findings from this study are that school commitment is a protective factor for alcohol use and binge drin king regardless of race and that the associations between school commitment and the two meas ures of alcohol use are conditioned by
Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 15 No. 22 12 race/ethnicity.There are some clear limitations to this study that should be considered. First, because the data is cross sectional in nature, we can make no assertions about the causality of the relationship between school commitment and alcohol use. That is, we cannot assess whether a lowered school commitment serves as a risk factor for alcohol use or alcohol use serves to reduce oneÂ’s commitment to school and increase the risk of academic failure and dropping out (although it is likely that the association is reciprocal in nature; Mason & Windle, 2001). Second, the present analysis only examined the conditional nature of race and ethnicity for the association between school commitment and alcohol use and binge drinking Other research that failed to find that race or ethnic background served as a moderator for other forms of delinquency may not be inconsistent with the present research, since rates of alcohol use are somewhat disparate compared to the patterns of other forms of delinquent behavior am ong teens from various racial/ethnic groups (e.g., Cernkovich & Giordano, 1992; Williams et al., 1999). Despite these limitations, this research suggests that race and ethnicity matter when evaluating the association between school commi tment and alcohol use or binge drinking. This finding may be particularly relevant for urban, predominately minority schools as they are more likely to face problems that may alienate students such as high dropout rates, low achievement, and poor relations among faculty and staff (Ekstrom, Goertz, Pollack & Rock, 1986; Bryk & Schneider, 2002). In addition, recent policy initiatives such as tightening graduation standards, employing exit exams, and implementing other high stakes testing may also risk reducing student commitment and these policies may disproportionatel y affect minority students (Orfie ld & Kornhaber, 2001; McNeil, 2000). If these policies do have an impact on school commitment, then many other unintended consequences including potentially higher ra tes of alcohol use and abuse may result. References Ainsworth-Darnell, J. W., & Downey, D. B. (1998). Assess ing the oppositional culture explanation for racial/ethnic differences in school performance. American Sociological Review, 63 536Â–553. Alexander, K. L., Entwisle, D. R., & Bedinger, S. D. (1994). Whe n expectations work: Race and socioeconomic differences in school performance. Social Psychology Quarterly, 57 283Â– 299. Allison, P. D. (1999). Comparing logit and probit coefficients across groups. Sociological Methods and Research, 28 186Â–208. Anderson, B., Holmes, M. D., & Ostresh, E. (19 99). Male and female delinquents' attachments and effects of attachments on seve rity of self-reported delinquency. Criminal Justice & Behavior, 26 435Â–452. Bahr, S., Marcos, J., Anastasios, C., & Maughan, S. L. (1995). Family Educational and peer influences on the alcohol use of female and male adolescents. Journal of Alcohol Studies, 56 457Â–469. Bell, D. C., Carlson, J. W., & Richard, A. J. (1 998). The social ecology of drug use: A factor analysis of an urban environment. Substance Use & Misuse, 33 2201Â–2217.
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Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 15 No. 22 16 Seydlita, R., & Jenkins, P. (1998 ). The influence of families, fr iends, schools, and communities on delinquent behaviors. In: Gullotta, T. Adams, G., and Mon temayor, R. (Eds.) Delinquent violent youth: Theory and interventions Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 53Â–97. Simons-Morton, B., Haynie, D. L., Crump, A. D. Saylor, K. E., Eitel, P., & Yu, K. (1999). Expectancies and othe r psychosocial factors associated with alcohol use among early adolescent boys and girls. Addictive Behaviors, 24 229Â–238. Stacy, A. W., Newcomb, M. D., & Bentler, P. M. (1992). Interactive and higher-order effects of social influences on drug use. Journal of Health an d Social Behavior, 33 226Â–241. StataCorp. (2004). Stata statistical software: Release 8.0. College Station, TX: Stata Corporation. Steinberg, L. D., Brown, B. B. & Dornbusch, S. M. (1996). Beyond the classr oom: Why school reform has failed and wh at parents need to do New York: Simon & Schuster. Sutherland, I., & Shepherd, J. (2001). Social dimensions of adolescent substance use. Addiction, 96 : ,445Â–458. Swaim, R. C, Bates, S. C, & Ch avez, E. L. (1998). Structural equation socialization model of substance use among Mexican-American an d White non-Hispanic school dropouts. Journal of Adolesc ent Health, 23 128Â–138. Vakalahi, H.F. (2002). Family-based predictors of adolescent substance use. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 11 1Â–15. Vega, W. A, Gil, A. G., Warhei t, G.J., Zimmerman, R. S., & Ap ospori, E. (1993). Acculturation and delinquent behavior among Cuban Americ an adolescents: To ward an empirical model. American Journal of Community Psychology, 21 113Â–125. Wallisch, L. S., & Spence, R. T. (2006). Alcoho l and drug use, abuse, an d dependence in urban areas and colonias of the Texas-Mexico border. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 28, 286Â–307. Warheit, G. J., Vega, W. A., Khoury, E. L., Gil, A. A., & Elfenbein, P. H. (1996). A comparative analysis of cigarette, alcohol and illicit drug use among an ethnically diverse sample of Hispanic, African American, and non-Hispanic White adolescents. Journal of Drug Issues, 26 901Â–922. Welsh, W. N., Greene, J. R., & Jenkins, P. H. (1999). School diso rder: The influence of individual, institutional, and community factors. Criminology, 37 73Â–115. Williams, J. H., Ayers, C. D., A bbott, R. D., Hawkins, J. D., & Catalano, R. F. (1999). Racial differences in risk factor s for delinquency and substance use among adolescents. Social Work Research, 23 241Â–255. Windle, M. (1991). The difficult temperament in adolescence: Associations with substance use, family support, and problem behaviors. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 47 310Â–315.
School Commitment and Alcohol Use 17 About the Author Tamela McNulty Eitle Montana State University David James Eitle Montana State University Email: email@example.com Tamela McNulty Eitle, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Sociology, Montana State University. Her main area of interest is educatio nal stratification. Her current research concerns organizational responses to high stakes testing and its potent ial impact on minority and lowincome students. David James Eitle, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Sociology, Montana State University. His research interest s include testing crim inological theory, exploring the role of school organizational factors in explaining school delinquen cy, and understanding the nexus between racial and ethnic stratification, crime and its social control.
Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 15 No. 22 18 EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES http://epaa.asu.edu Editor: Sherman Dorn, University of South Florida Production Assistant: Chris Murre ll, Arizona State University General questions about ap propriateness of topics or particular articles may be addressed to the Editor, Sherman Dorn, firstname.lastname@example.org. Editorial Board Noga Admon Jessica Allen Cheryl Aman Mi chael W. Apple David C. Berliner Damian Betebenner Robert Bickel Robert Bifulco Anne Black Henry Braun Nick Burbules Marisa Cannata Casey Cobb Arnold Danzig Linda Darling-Hammond Chad d'Entremont John Diamond Amy Garrett Dikkers Tara Donohue Gunapa la Edirisooriya Camille Farrington Gustavo Fischman Chris Frey Richard Garlikov Misty Ginicola Gene V Glass Harvey Goldstein Jake Gross Hee Kyung Hong Aimee Howley Craig B. Howley Jaekyung Lee Benjamin Levin Jennifer Lloyd Sarah Lubienski Susan Maller Les McLean Roslyn Arlin Mickelson Heinrich Mintrop Shereeza Mohammed Michele Moses Sharon L. Nichols Sean Reardon A.G. Rud Lorrie Shepard Ben Superfine Cally Waite John Weathers Kevin Welner Ed Wiley Terrence G. Wiley Kyo Yamashiro Stuart Yeh
School Commitment and Alcohol Use 19 EDUCATION POLICY ANALYSIS ARCHIVES http://epaa.asu.edu New Scholar Board English Language Articles 2007-2009 Wendy Chi Corinna Crane Jenny DeMonte Craig Esposito Timothy Ford Samara Foster Melissa L. Freeman Kimberly Howard Nils Kauffman Felicia Sanders Kenzo Sung Tina Trujillo Larisa Warhol
Education Policy Analysis Archives Vol. 15 No. 22 20 A rchivos A nalticos de P olticas E ducativas http://epaa.asu.edu Editores Gustavo E. Fischman Arizona State University Pablo Gentili Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro Asistentes editoriales: Rafael O. Serrano (ASU) & Lucia Terra (UBC) Hugo Aboites UAM-Xochimilco, Mxico Armando Alcnt ara Santuario CESU, Mxico Claudio Almonacid Avila UMCE, Chile Dalila Andrad e de Oliveira UFMG, Brasil Alejandra Birgin FLACSO-UBA, Argentina Sigfredo Chiroque IPP, Per Mariano Fernndez Enguita Universidad de Salamanca. Espaa Gaudncio Frigotto UERJ, Brasil Roberto Leher UFRJ, Brasil Nilma Lino Gomes UFMG, Brasil Pia Lindquist Wong CSUS, USA Mara Loreto Egaa PIIE, Chile Alma Maldonado University of Arizona, USA Jos Felipe Martnez Fernndez UCLA, USA Imanol Ordorika IIE-UNAM, Mxico Vanilda Paiva UERJ, Brasil Miguel A. Pereyra Universidad de Granada, Espaa Mnica Pini UNSAM, Argentina Romualdo Portella de Oliveira Universidade de So Paulo, Brasil Paula Razquin UNESCO, Francia Jos Ignacio Rivas Flores Universidad de Mlaga, Espaa Diana Rhoten SSRC, USA Jos Gimeno Sacristn Universidad de Valencia, Espaa Daniel Schugurensky UT-OISE Canad Susan Street CIESAS Occidente,Mxico Nelly P. Stromquist USC, USA Daniel Surez LPP-UBA, Argentina Antonio Teodoro Universidade Lusfona, Lisboa Jurjo Torres Santom Universidad de la Corua, Espaa Llian do Valle UERJ, Brasil