Moral Belief and Drug Problem Recognition in Three Ethnic Groups

Published in: Advances in Medical Sociology, v. 7, 2000, p. 177-191

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1999

by Douglas L. Longshore, Kathy Sanders-Phillips

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This study examines the relationship between conventional moral belief and drug problem recognition in African-American, Hispanic-American, and non-Hispanic white drug users. After adjustment for demographic, psychosocial, and drug use severity factors that might have confounded this relationship, conventional moral belief was significantly associated with drug problem recognition among African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans but not among whites. The particular relevance of conventional moral belief among nonwhites may reflect cultural values emphasizing collective identity and/or religiosity. Nonwhites may be more inclined than whites to view recovery as a process of claiming or reclaiming moral standing in a community of conventional others.

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