Research & Resources

Racial Discrimination, Depressive Symptoms, Ethnic-Racial Identity, and Alcohol Use Among Black American College Students

Researchers tested depressive symptoms as a mediator and ethnic-racial identity as a moderator in the relation between racial discrimination and alcohol use outcomes among Black American young adults. Racial discrimination was associated with alcohol consumption and problems indirectly via depressive symptoms. Moderation was evident such that high private regard levels buffered the association between racial discrimination and alcohol consumption, whereas high public regard levels exacerbated the association between racial discrimination and depressive symptoms. Racial discrimination experiences put Black American young adults at risk for alcohol use and related problems through increased depressive symptoms. Ethnic-racial identity may buffer or exacerbate these associations depending on the specific dimension. The findings imply the need to target depressive symptoms and alcohol use simultaneously to promote health and well-being among Black Americans. 

This paper, “Racial discrimination, depressive symptoms, ethnic-racial identity, and alcohol use among Black American college students,” was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.
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