Prospective Associations of Discrimination, Race, and Sexual Orientation with Substance Use in Adolescents

Amelia V. Wedel, Patricia A. Goodhines, Michelle J. Zaso, Aesoon Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Adolescents are at high risk for alcohol and cannabis use. Emerging evidence suggests that discrimination exposure is prospectively associated with risk for alcohol use among adolescents of marginalized race, sexual orientation, or gender identity. However, it is unknown whether prospective discrimination-substance use associations among marginalized adolescents are also present for cannabis use. This study examined prospective associations of race, sexual orientation, and discrimination exposure with alcohol and cannabis use over one year. Methods: Data were drawn from a two-wave longitudinal health survey study of 9–11th graders (n = 350 for the current analyses; Year 1 M age=15.95 [SD = 1.07, range = 13–19]; 44% male; 44% Black, 22% White, 18% Asian, 16% Multiracial; 16% LGB; 10% Hispanic/Latinx ethnicity) at an urban high school. Two multinomial logistic regressions examined associations of Year 1 race, sexual orientation, and discrimination experiences with Year 2 alcohol and cannabis consumption separately. Results: Year 1 Discrimination exposure was associated with increased risk for Year 2 past-year alcohol use among Asian (OR = 1.34) and past-month alcohol use among Multiracial (OR = 1.30) adolescents, but not Black or LGB adolescents. Discrimination exposure was not associated with any cannabis use pattern in any group. Independent of discrimination, LGB adolescents were at greater risk for monthly alcohol (OR = 3.48) and cannabis use (OR = 4.07) at Year 2. Conclusions: Discrimination exposure is prospectively associated with risk for alcohol use among adolescents of understudied (Asian, Multiracial) racial backgrounds, and should be considered in alcohol prevention and intervention strategies. Risk factors for alcohol and cannabis use among LGB adolescents should continue to be explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-272
Number of pages10
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • adolescent
  • cannabis
  • discrimination
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Prospective Associations of Discrimination, Race, and Sexual Orientation with Substance Use in Adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this