Research & Resources

Perceived Racial Discrimination, Alcohol Use, and Alcohol-Related Problems: The Moderating Role of Self-Compassion in Reserve-Dwelling First Nation Youth

North American Indigenous youth experience disproportionate rates of racial discrimination, as well as consequences associated with alcohol use. In this study, researchers examined the role of self-compassion as a moderator of the links between racial discrimination and alcohol use and alcohol-related problems among North American Indigenous youth. First Nation adolescents from reserve communities in eastern Canada completed a pencil-and-paper survey regarding their experiences of racial discrimination, self-compassion, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems. The survey results revealed that the association between racial discrimination and alcohol use was significant for those adolescents reporting low levels of self-compassion. Similarly, the association between racial discrimination and alcohol-related problems was significant for those reporting low levels of self-compassion. The findings suggested that low levels of self-compassion could increase the risk for alcohol use and negative alcohol-related consequences in the context of racial discrimination among North American Indigenous adolescents. The researchers suggested that future work could examine the utility of interventions targeting self-compassion; specifically, their effects on responses to racial discrimination and alcohol use.

This paper, “Perceived racial discrimination, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems: The moderating role of self-compassion in reserve-dwelling First Nation youth,” was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and published in the journal Translational issues in psychological science.

Link to full item