Ethnicity and Adolescent Pathways to Alcohol Use
Original Publication Date
J Stud Alcohol Drugs
Date of Submission
This study examined the influence of ethnicity on factors affecting alcohol-use behaviors in a community sample of white, black, and Hispanic youth (N = 323). Conduct problems, positive alcohol expectancies, and socioeconomic status were expected to mediate the effect of negative affectivity and a paternal history of substance dependence on the age at onset of regular drinking and the frequency of drinking.
Subjects ages 14–21 (57.9% female; 60.7% white) were interviewed along with their fathers at baseline (Time 1), and subjects only were interviewed again 5 years later (Time 2). A structural equation model was used to test a deviance proneness model for predicting drinking behaviors and to evaluate differences on model paths by ethnicity.
Ethnic group membership moderated mediational pathways linked to the onset of regular alcohol use but not to drinking frequency. An increase in the number of childhood conduct problems predicted an earlier age at onset of regular drinking for blacks, whereas more positive alcohol expectancies were associated with an earlier initiation of regular drinking for whites and Hispanics.
Findings from this study provide evidence that risk factors for alcohol use in adolescents and young adults vary according to ethnic group.
Is Part Of
VCU Social Work Publications