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Using intersectionality theory as a theoretical framework, this qualitative study uncovered the protective factors present among black and Hispanic adolescent girls living in an urban, underresourced neighborhood in the Northeastern United States. The sample used in this study includes eight focus groups that consisted of adolescent females only (N = 57). Female participants were sampled through six youth-serving summer programs throughout the target city. The female participants were between 11 and 17 years of age, with 73% self-identifying as black (n = 45) and 26% (n = 12) as Hispanic. Thematic analysis using an intersectional approach was used to analyze the narratives of participants in the study. Three main themes arose: environmental context, parent–child communication about drug use, and parental modeling. Participants were critically aware of their environmental context which normalized drug use. However, participants identified protective factors such as parents communicating about drug use and parental modeling to girls in the sample as the most salient factors against substance use in their community. Findings provide insight for researchers, social workers, and interventionists to create and implement family-centered, strengths-based substance-abuse prevention programs that are racial, ethnic, and gender specific for black and Hispanic adolescent girls.



Published Citation

Opara, I., Lardier Jr, D. T., Reid, R. J., & Garcia-Reid, P. (2019). “It all starts with the parents”: A qualitative study on protective factors for drug-use prevention among Black and Hispanic girls. Affilia, 34(2), 199-218.