Title

The associations of Latino/a racial status and neighborhood discrimination to alcohol use and psychological distress

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

1-1-2021

Abstract

Minority Stress Theory posits that discrimination is associated with negative mental health outcomes; however, the location of the perceived discrimination may matter. This study examines whether race, inside-neighborhood discrimination, and their interaction are associated with hazardous drinking, alcohol-related consequences, and depressive/anxiety symptoms in a racially diverse sample of Latino/a adults. Participants (N = 296, 63% male, Mage =41, SD = 12.2) who met criteria for hazardous drinking (4/5 drinks per occasion for females/males, respectively) were separated into two racial groups: those who self-identified as either White (21%, n = 63) or a minoritized race (79%, n = 233). Regression analyses explored whether racial status (White/minoritized race), inside-neighborhood discrimination, and their interaction were associated with hazardous drinking, alcohol-related consequences, and anxiety/depressive symptoms. Perceiving more frequent inside-neighborhood discrimination was associated with greater hazardous drinking (B = 0.03, SE = 0.01, p=.003), alcohol-related consequences (B = 1.92, SE = 3.39, p=.001), and depressive symptoms (B = 0.79, SE = 0.25, p=.001). For anxiety symptoms, the interaction between discrimination and racial status was significant (B = 1.62, SE = 0.76, p=.034); greater perceived inside-neighborhood discrimination was related to more anxiety symptoms only for Latino/a individuals with a minoritized race (but not for those who are Latino/a and White). These findings suggest that perceiving neighborhood discrimination is associated with hazardous drinking, alcohol-related consequences, and depressive symptoms among Latino/a individuals regardless of racial status. Further, Latino/a individuals with a minoritized race who report inside-neighborhood discrimination show greater anxiety symptoms than Latino/a White individuals. Findings highlight the importance of exploring the roles of race and discrimination inside one’s neighborhood within the Latino/a population.

Publication Title

Addiction Research and Theory

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