Research & Resources

Alcohol and Cannabis Use and Outcomes in Hispanic, White, and Asian Sexual and Gender Minority Emerging Adults

Researchers examined the extent to which sexual and gender minority (SGM) emerging adults of different racial/ethnic groups experience disparities in outcomes at similar levels of alcohol or cannabis use. Researchers used five waves of annual survey data from 2015 (average age 18) to 2020 (average age 23) from an ongoing longitudinal cohort study of emerging adults for the study. White SGM emerging adults showed higher baseline levels of alcohol and cannabis frequency compared to Hispanic and Asian peers, but all groups showed similar rates of change over time. Few racial/ethnic differences were seen in SGM emerging adult outcomes at the same levels of alcohol or cannabis use; however, some differences emerged. For example, Asian respondents reported less engagement in sex with casual partners after using alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs compared to their white peers at the same levels of alcohol use. The researchers suggested that more longitudinal studies with large, contemporary, and diverse samples of SGM emerging adults be conducted to better characterize similarities and differences in patterns of substance use and use-related consequences in relation to intersecting SGM, racial/ethnic, and other identities.

This paper, “Alcohol and cannabis use trajectories and outcomes in a sample of Hispanic, White, and Asian sexual and gender minority emerging adults,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

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