Download Full Text (643 KB)
Does Sexual Orientation Moderate between Partner Substance Use and Alcohol Consumption?
Jasmine Jones, Depts. of Psychology and African American Studies, with Dr. Jessica Salvatore, Dept. of Psychology
Being with an antisocial partner can be challenging in various ways. Prior research suggests that involvement with an antisocial partner is associated with higher levels of substance use (Fleming, White, and Catalano 2010). Having a minority sexual orientation can also influence one’s own substance use. Prior research shows that individuals who identify as a sexual minority report higher levels of substance use compared to those who identify as heterosexual (Hughes, Wilsnack, Kantor 2016). Despite the robust associations between partner antisocial behavior, alcohol consumption, and sexual orientation there is little research looking at whether the association between having an antisocial partner and alcohol consumption differs as a function of sexual orientation. The aim for this study was to examine whether the association between a partner’s antisocial behavior and alcohol use differs as a function of sexual orientation. Participants came from “Spit for Science,” a university research opportunity for any freshman that would like to participate. Participants (N = 1502, 70.8% female) were invited to participate in surveys during their freshman year and every spring semester after. We used a subset based on participants who reported to be in a relationship during the spring semester of their freshman year. Consistent with prior research and our hypothesis, having a partner with higher substance use is associated with higher levels of alcohol consumption. Contrary to our hypothesis, we did not find evidence that partner substance use and alcohol consumption differed as a function of sexual orientation. Individuals who are involved with someone who consumes alcohol will consume more alcohol, however, this does not differ as a function of sexual orientation.
Jessica Salvatore, Ph.D.
Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
Is Part Of
VCU Undergraduate Research Posters
© The Author(s)