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Family and Peer Influence on American Indian Youth

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Who are the most influential people in your life? Each person has to have at least one or more people who have influenced them at some time or another. When you think of the word influence you think of being able to create an effect on someone with a form of power or action. Sometimes when someone is trying to influence someone they are aware of it, and sometimes the person doing the influencing is unaware. Being influenced can be either positive or negative. The people who are typically seen influencing a person is family and peers. As a child you are more likely to be influenced by your family, when you are around adolescence a person is more influenced by their peers, and when heading into adulthood you find yourself being influenced by your family again. Within this research paper there will be a main focus on American Indian adolescent substance abuse and how it is influenced by peers and family.

Substance abuse among American Indian adolescents is an important topic to learn about because we need to find ways that we can prevent substance abuse. It was found that substance abuse among American Indian adolescents is on the rise and an intervention is needed in order to decrease the numbers of adolescents using substances. In order to find an intervention to decrease the number of adolescents using substances we need to look at the sources that cause adolescents to use substances. Thus, leading to the idea that peers and family are the main sources in an adolescents life that influence substance abuse. By looking into the family and peers, we are looking at the ways in which they use substances. By taking out the factors that influence peer and family substance use, we then will be able to determine how to decrease the number of adolescents from using substances themselves. These factors can be labeled as risk and protective factors. We will be looking at the risk factors that influence substance abuse among AI adolescents and then we will be looking at protective factors that deter substance abuse among AI adolescents. Among the risk factors that influence substance abuse there are certain types of drugs that are typically used by the adolescents. The substances that are most commonly used are alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco. There will not be much discussion on tobacco because it is a large enough topic to talk about on its own. Each drug will then be discussed as to the amount of usage that pertains to the drug. Along with discussing the types of drugs there will also be discussion of socioeconomic factors that can either be a risk or protective factor.

Analytic Strategy

All of the information was found through research in online journal and printed journals. Most of the statistics were found through the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Survey of Drug use and Health. The main focus for finding the resources used in this paper was by searching Native American adolescent substance abuse in search engines on Ebsco Host, MountainLynx catalog, and also on the Department of health and Human Services. While searching at the DHHS there was lots of links to follow that lead to other factual and substantial resource sites. When searching the main focus was to look for articles that included risk and protective factors of substance abuse with American Indian youth. There was also some researching done on the changes of drug use overtime to get a better idea of how substance abuse among American Indian adolescents has increased or decreased. Organization of paper is based on discussing the bad parts of the information such as the high statistics, risk factors, and substances being used. Then after discussing the bad



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