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Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Chelsea D. Williams


The current study examined how multiple dimensions of ethnic-racial identity (ERI) were associated with alcohol use and alcohol use disorder (AUD) symptoms and how these relations varied by individuals’ ethnic-racial group among 1850 diverse emerging adults (M = 18.46, SD = .38). Further, measurement invariance of the Ethnic Identity Scale-Brief (EIS-B) was tested across Latinx, White, Black, Asian, and Multiracial students. Additionally, alternative models were examined that tested whether family factors (i.e., parent education and family history of alcohol problems) moderated the relations between ERI and alcohol problems to further examine nuances in these relations. Results indicated that the EIS-B functioned differently across White students and students of color; therefore, all research questions were tested separately for White students. Findings indicated that there were significant differences by race/ethnicity. ERI affirmation was negatively associated with AUD symptoms for Asian individuals and Black individuals. ERI exploration was positively associated with AUD symptoms among Black individuals. ERI resolution was negatively associated with alcohol use for Latinx individuals and positively associated with alcohol use for Multiracial individuals. For White individuals, ERI exploration was negatively associated with alcohol use and ERI affirmation was negatively associated with AUD symptoms. Regarding the alternative models, parent education was a significant moderator, such that at high parent education, ERI resolution predicted more alcohol use among White students and less AUD symptoms among Minority students. Family history of alcohol problems was not a significant moderator of any relations between ERI dimensions and alcohol problems. Overall, continued research and finding ways to translate findings into interventions with college students that incorporate these nuanced mechanisms underlying alcohol problems is a fruitful and important endeavor.


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