The Role of Culture in the Association Between Racial Discrimination and Alcohol Use Among North American Indigenous Adolescents Reporting Recent Drinking
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The goal of this study was to examine the role of culture in the association between racial discrimination and alcohol use. Across two studies (Study 1: n=52; Study 2: n=1,743), North American Indigenous (NAI) adolescents living on or near NAI reservations who reported recent alcohol use completed self-reported measures of racial discrimination, cultural affiliation, and frequency of alcohol use. Findings showed a significant association between racial discrimination and alcohol use, but not between cultural affiliation and alcohol use. Racial discrimination and cultural affiliation were significantly correlated in Study 1, but not in Study 2. Across both studies, the interactions between racial discrimination and cultural affiliation significantly predicted alcohol use, such that the association between racial discrimination and alcohol use was stronger for adolescents reporting high (versus low) levels of cultural affiliation. In adjusted models controlling for age and sex, the interaction between racial discrimination and cultural affiliation remained significant in Study 2, but not Study 1. These findings emphasize the need to reduce racial discrimination against NAI youth and to consider youths’ different needs based on their level of cultural affiliation to reduce subsequent alcohol consumption.
This paper, “The role of culture in the association between racial discrimination and alcohol use among North American Indigenous adolescents reporting recent drinking,” was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and published in the journal Alcohol: Clinical and experimental research.