De Anza College Drug Abuse Among American Youth Research Paper

De Anza College

Question Description

I’m trying to learn for my Social Science class and I’m stuck. Can you help?

Option #1: Research Paper: (6 pages) (15% of grade) (due Wednesday of Week 10: March 11th): In this 6-page double-spaced research paper, using and citing sociological sources, you will choose a sociological theory and apply it to a social issue young people face today. The outline for the paper should be as follows:

  1. Introduction to your topic and research question.
  2. Explanation of what three or more sociology articles or books have argued concerning your topic

III. Offer empirical evidence of this issue citing online articles and news reports

  1. Interview 3 other De Anza Students and quote them concerning their beliefs or attitudes about this issue and what they think causes it
  2. Conclude by explaining the origins of the social issue, how it affects young adults today, and your suggestions for how to improve this situation based on what you read (citing your sources)

The following rubric will be used to grade your research papers:

1-20 points: Theory application: Accurately and thoroughly apply the chosen sociological theory(ies) we have learned in class to this social issue facing young people today.

1-20 points: The Interviews as Evidence: Theory-based analysis of the 3 interviews critically focused on the topic. How can you frame your interviews and social realities youth are facing using social theories we learned in class?

1-20 points: Who is affected and at what level are people affected: Fully identifies and explains the causes and extent of an objective social issue, including global, national, state, and local relationships as appropriate to the topic.

1-20 points: Writing Mechanics: Paper is organized, with strong, consistent voice, thoughtful word choices, and smooth sentence fluency – in short, well written and carefully edited with no grammatical errors. Cites sources correctly (author, year of publication and page number for quotes) and consistently with a correctly formatted works cited page.

1-20 points: Depth of Analysis: Analysis is at the appropriate depth of analysis overall for a college course and completes all pages.

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Final Answer

Here is the paper. Let me know in case of any question. Bye for now.


Applying Sociological Theories to Drug Abuse among American Youth
Institution Affiliation



The three main sociological theories provide vital guidance on solving social problems.
These theories include the functionalist theory, symbolic interactionist theory, and conflict
theory. These theories provide perspectives for looking at social problems in different ways but
their collective views provide a better understanding of most of the social problems people face
today compared to when a single theory is applied. Nevertheless, this paper focuses on the
functionalist theory and the way it can be applied to solve the problem of unemployment and
unproductivity in the society.
The functionalism theory applies to most of the problems facing the youth today
considering the various elements that make up a society. According to the functionalist
perspective, the society is a complex system or structure made up of interrelated parts. These
interrelated parts are meant to meet the needs of each individual irrespective of their age, gender,
race, and other distinguishing attributes (Mooney, Knox, & Schacht, 2007). When a social
problem emerges, the society often has some impacts on the persistence of the issue, which
means it is though collaborative efforts that the problem can be solved.
The Social Problem
In almost every economy, drug/alcohol abuse is often cited as one of the leading social
problems facing the youth today. In the United States, the most affected are teenagers who
hardly see the implication of their drug or alcohol abuse behavior and the respective
consequences in future, specifically during their productive adult age. One of the key factors
leading to drug and alcohol abuse among the youth is their urge to experiment with various drugs
and alcohol product as teenagers. However, different youths show varying tendencies to abuse



drugs or consume alcoholic drinks. From a psychological perspective, some young people are
more likely to use drugs or alcohol and become addicted to such substances than others (Hanson
et al., 2012). These differences are attributed to personality differences among different people.
In this regard, individuals with personality traits such as low trust in other people, low selfconfidence, and low self-esteem could push them towards the consumption of drugs or alcohol to
regain self-confidence, self-esteem, and feel accommodated by others. Based on these factors,
the society seems to play a significant role in pushing the youth to drug and alcohol abuse. The
problem is considered a social problem because it not only affects the person abusing the
substances and his or her immediate family members or friends, but it also affects the society as
a whole.
Literature Review
Studies have established that alcohol and drug abuse is common among the youth,
especially adolescents in the United States. Most of substance abusers have their first onset
during their early adolescence years, which happens to be a critical period of personal
development in every person (Swendsen, et al., 2013). The trends of abuse known to emerge
when the users are still adolescents have been considered as key determinants of their behavior
as well as associated disorders during order ages.
According to data from some major US surveys companies and organization such as the
National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), the National Survey on Drug
Use and Health (NSDUH), as well as the Monitoring the Future study, about 59 percent to 71
percent of all adolescents in the United States consume alcohol by the age of 17 (Fryar, Merino,
Hirsch, & Porter, 2009). Of these, 31 percent to 44 percent try cannabis by this age while 4



percent to 6 percent try cocaine by the age of 17. The social and psychological factors pushing
such a high percentage of youths to drug and alcohol use with less regard to the impact such
substances has on their health, their future wellbeing, and the society is however still debatable.
Studies on the factors leading to the development of substance abuse disorders have
unearthed a significant disparity between male and female users. Investigations directed on such
studies show that male youth and adults have a greater prevalence for drug abuse as well as
dependency compared to females (Compton, Thomas, Stinson, & Grant, 2007 ). From a social
perspective, gender roles as a social construction plays a significant role in this difference
between men and women when it comes to drug abuse. For instance, men are perceived as
courageous and stronger than women are. Right from birth, the society directs them towards the
tendency to fight hard to be successful. They are sociall...

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