Are perceived racial discrimination and drinking behaviors related? That question was examined by researchers. African American (AA) college students have long been found to drink alcohol less often and in lower quantities than whites.
Long ago it was suggested that the very low rate of drunkenness among Jews resulted from a fear of persecution. So AA students may drink less to avoid negative actions.
Perceived Racial Discrimination and Drinking Behaviors
In this study, as in others, AA students were more likely to abstain than whites. They were also less likely to engage in heavy episodic drinking than whites. (Often misleadingly called binge drinking.)
Items that measured perceived racial discrimination in alcohol use contexts were used. AA students who believed their drinking will solicit race-based police bias had different drinking patterns. They were more likely to abstain from alcohol. They were also less likely to engage in heavy episodic drinking.
Other possible reasons exist. They might include religion, social or economic status, and parental drinking patterns. Also group identifications, anticipatory socialization, and so on.
African American = AA
- Wade, J., and Peralta, R. Perceived racial discrimination, heavy episodic drinking, and alcohol abstinence among AA and white college students. J Ethn Subst Abuse, 15, 1-16.
- Clark, T., and Nguyen A. Family factors and substance use among AA teens. J Drug Issues, 42(4), 358-372.
- Clark, T., et al. Understanding the dimensions of parental influence on drug use among AA adolescents. Soc Work Res, 35, 13-16.
- Neblett, E., et al. AA adolescents’ discrimination experiences and academic achievement. J Black Psych, 32, 199-218.
- Watt, T. The race/ethnic age crossover effect in drug use and heavy drinking. J Eth Sub Abuse, 7(1), 93-114.