Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Paul Florin

Abstract

Adults identifying with two or more races represent about 7% of the U.S. populations (Pew Research Study, 2015). Multiracial individuals are a growing population within the United States with unique needs and experiences that are represented to a limited degree within substance use literature. However, existing research has demonstrated that multiracial individuals are at an increased risk for adverse substance use outcomes that remain largely unexplored (Unger, 2012). While existing literature has explored the impact factors like ethnic identity, neighborhood risk and drug beliefs and attitudes amongst monoracial youth and young adults, limited extensions have been made to their multiracial peers to better understand evidence of their increased risk. With a sample of 281 multiracial emerging adults, the current study sought a better understanding of ethnic identity as a protective factor against marijuana and alcohol use in relation to neighborhood risk and attitudes and beliefs about substance use. The current study supports previous findings that ethnic identity, neighborhood risk, personal disapproval, and perceived risk of alcohol and marijuana relates to substance use outcomes; however, results suggest that ethnic identity may not serve a protective role within this sample. Implications of the findings are further discussed and future directions for this area of research are provided.

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