A conceptual framework for understanding alcohol use problems in racial/ethnic minorities: The role of impulsivity and stress

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There is a robust relationship between impulsivity and alcohol use. The present review summarizes the existing literature on the influence of the dimensions of impulsivity and alcohol use problems among racial/ethnic groups. In particular, we focus on how chronic stress may influence the relationship between specific dimensions of impulsivity (e.g., negative and positive urgency) and alcohol use. While much of the existing literature has been conducted in White samples, individuals from minoritized backgrounds often deal with greater stress and stress specifically related to their identity as minority (e.g., minority stress). This unique source of stress may come from sources such as perceived discrimination and living in poverty, which exposes these individuals to additional stress and has a negative impact on substance use problems. In this chapter, we will integrate the literature on impulsivity, stress, and alcohol use in minoritized groups. We propose an organizing framework for how these constructs work together to increase alcohol-related problems in members from minoritized groups and discuss the implications of this research. Additionally, we suggest there is a strong need to develop unique treatment options that are culturally and developmentally appropriate, and that target each of these constructs for members from minoritized groups.

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Understanding Impulsive Behavior: Assessment, Influences and Gender Differences

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