Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Family and Child Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Robert J. Reid

Committee Member

Jon Caspi

Committee Member

Bradley van Eeden-Moorefield


Advances in the substance use literature have occurred over the last three decades. However, the research examining drug and alcohol prevention-interventions among urban youth has occurred from a deficit lens, and practitioners have not fully considered how race or ethnicity impact interventions. There is a need in the research to understand the processes and outcomes of substance use among urban youth, particularly those processes that focus on strengths and empowerment among racial-ethnic minority groups. This study investigates the mediating relationship of ethnic identity between community-based perceptions and psychological empowerment and substance use; the mediating impact of psychological empowerment; and the moderating effect of race among Black and Hispanic urban adolescents (N = 1,480). Results from this study support the role of ethnic identity as a mediator, as well as the mediating role of psychological empowerment between ethnic identity and substance use. Implications for policy, practice, theory, and future research are discussed.