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Laquesha Phillips, PSY295: Research Experience in Psychology
Faculty Mentor(s): Professor Kimberly Kamper-DeMarco, Psychology

The research question studied here is whether race plays a significant role in the association between peer victimization, depression, and substance use in adolescence. Previous research has revealed that race does play a significant role especially for people of color in impoverished neighborhoods (Hong et al., 2018). African Americans within these neighborhoods often have an increased probability of internalizing problems and negative peer interactions, which leads to a higher risk for substance use. African American adolescents are often more likely to experience depression compared to their white counterparts, due to resources not being available to help, as well as different cultural experiences (Bailey et al., 2019, Taylor, 2011). Using an online Qualtrics questionnaire, we assess these variables among 12-13 year olds. Peer victimization will be assessed using the Social Experiences Questionnaire (Crick et al., 1996), depression will be assessed using the CES-D, and our measures of substance use are based on questions by Johnston and colleagues (2012). To analyze this research question, we will use chi-square tests of independence to examine differences in rates of peer victimization, depression and substance use among different races/ethnicities. In addition, we will examine associations between our variables across different races or ethnicities. I predict that there will be higher rates of depression and substance use among African American adolescents, especially for African American adolescents in impoverished neighborhoods.

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Peer Victimization, Depression, and Substance Use across Race during Adolescence
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