Title

Racial discrimination, racial identity affiliation, and heavy alcohol use among multiracial individuals

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1-1-2021

Abstract

Background: Alcohol use is disproportionately higher among multiracial than monoracial adults; yet, associated risk and protective factors are underexplored. The present study compared levels of experienced racial discrimination, racial identity affiliation, and heavy alcohol use among multiracial and monoracial adults and tested whether racial identity affiliation, experienced racial discrimination, and their interaction were significantly associated with heavy alcohol use among multiracial individuals. Methods: We conducted secondary analyses of data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III. Participants are a nationally representative sample of all U.S. adults (N = 29,026; 56.4% female) and were interviewed for the study from 2012 to 2013. The sample includes 598multiracial individuals. Results: Linear regression analyses showed that multiracial individuals experienced significantly greater racial discrimination than White (b = −1.26, 95% CI [−1.47, −1.05], p < 0.001) or Asian individuals (b = −0.30, 95% CI [−0.53, −0.06], p = 0.013) but less than Black individuals (b = 0.29, 95% CI [0.08, 0.50], p = 0.007). Furthermore, multiracial individuals reported less affiliation with their racial identity than Black (b = 4.92, 95% CI [4.23, 5.62], p < 0.001) or Asian individuals (b = 3.86, 95% CI [3.09, 4.63], p < 0.001) but did not differ significantly from White individuals. Logistic regression analysis showed that multiracial individuals were significantly more likely to report heavy drinking than Asian individuals (OR = 0.53, 95% CI [0.36, 0.78], p = 0.001) but did not differ significantly from White or Black individuals. Finally, experienced racial discrimination was significantly related to heavy alcohol use in multiracial adults (b = 0.11, 95% CI [0.01, 0.20], p = 0.031), though neither racial identity affiliation nor the interaction of racial identity affiliation with experienced racial discrimination were significantly related to heavy alcohol use. Conclusions: Our results suggest that multiracial individuals, as compared to other minoritized individuals who are monoracial, report high levels of experienced racial discrimination and heavy alcohol use and low levels of racial identity affiliation. Further understanding of the effects of racial identity affiliation and experienced racial discrimination on the risk for heavy alcohol use could help in the development of interventions aimed at reducing alcohol use disparities among multiracial individuals.

Publication Title

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research

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