Substance Abuse in Immigrant Latino Youth in Appalachia: Preliminary Findings

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One-third of the US Latino population is under the age of 18. Studies show a significant percentage of Latinos aged 12 or older use illegal substances. Acculturation, family relationships, and depression are contributing factors to this abuse. Previous studies concentrated on populations along the US-Mexico border. This study examined the relationship between illegal substance abuse, acculturation, family relationships, and depression in Latino adolescents aged 12 to 19 in Northeast Tennessee. The Pan American Youth Inventory was administered to 66 Latino youth. There was a significant relationship between substance abuse and depression, as well as substance abuse and lifetime suicide ideations.