Document Type


Date of Award



School of Communication (SOC)

Degree Name

MA in Communication

First Advisor

James Ward


A total of 400 surveys were given at random to 200 African American adults and, 200 African American teens between the ages of 14-18 years old. A focus group of 5 adults and 5 teens was also conducted. The teens and the adults were not related to ensure the comfort for the children and allowed them to be open and honest about their views. The reason for focusing on this particular age group of children is because it is the period in the child's life that peer pressure plays an important part on some of the decisions the child will make. The research was to find out if children who have a close interpersonal relationship with their parents are less likely to have involvement in substance abuse than those who do not have a close interpersonal relationship with their parents. It further examined whether boys were more likely than girls to become involved with substance use or abuse. It also aimed to determine if the age of the teens would make a significant difference in substance abuse. The results of the study showed that those adolescents who have a close interpersonal relationship with their parents did not use any substance. Also it was shown that male adolescents used substances more than the female adolescents and that there was not a statistical difference in the age variation of substance abuse.