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U.S. black youth overestimate drug use

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa., Dec 08, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A U.S. inter-racial study released Wednesday shows black youths mistakenly believe their black peers use drugs more than whites or Hispanics.

Dr. Michelle Miller-Day, associate professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State, found only 16 percent of the black youth queried admitted using drugs within the past few months, compared to 24 percent of the white youth surveyed.

"(But) of all blacks surveyed in our study, almost two out of three perceived that black adolescents take more drugs than white or Hispanic young people," said Miller-Day.

Conversely, her findings showed young white adolescents overwhelmingly believe white youth use fewer drugs than other ethnic groups.

The researchers took their sample of 67 volunteer participants -- 42 black, 25 white -- from two inner-city schools, two inner-city churches and two inner-city community centers within a 10-mile radius of one another in the mid-South.

The findings were published in the journal Health Communication.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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