Research & Resources

Drinking Trajectories Among Sexual Minority Young Women

Researchers examined the diversity of drinking trajectories among sexual minorities to better understand how risk factors may be uniquely associated with specific trajectories. Researchers utilized four waves of data (12 months between waves) from a sample of 1,057 sexual minority women (SMW) ages 18–25. The goals were to identify multiple distinct trajectories of alcohol use; examine the predictive utility of these trajectories; and test associations between minority stress (e.g., discrimination), social influence risk factors (e.g., sexual minority community involvement), and alcohol trajectories. Minority stressors predicted a low-increasing trajectory, while social influence risk factors predicted a stable high trajectory. Both minority stress and social influence risk factors predicted high-decreasing heavy episodic drinking (HED) trajectories and stable high HED trajectories. Findings indicated that some drinking trajectories among SMW appear similar to those found in the general population, while others appear unique. Results provide insight into how minority stress and social influence risk factors may uniquely and jointly contribute to disparities affecting this population.

This paper, “Multiple diverse drinking trajectories among sexual minority women: Unique and joint prediction by minority stress and social influence risk factors,” was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Link to full item