Racial Discrimination and Alcohol Problems Among African American Young Adults: Examining the Moderating Effects of Racial Socialization by Parents and Friends

Jinni Su, Sally I.Chun Kuo, Chelsea L. Derlan, Nao Hagiwara, Mignonne C. Guy, Danielle M. Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Racial discrimination is a stressor that may put African Americans at risk for alcohol use and related problems. We examined whether experiences of blatant (racist events) and subtle (racial microaggressions) forms of racial discrimination were associated with alcohol consumption and alcohol problems among African American young adults, and whether childhood/adolescence racial socialization by parents and friends moderated these associations. Method: The sample included 383 African American young adults (Mage = 20.65, SD = 2.28; 81% female) who completed an electronic survey in Fall, 2017. Hierarchical linear regression analyses were conducted in Mplus. Results: Experiences of racist events and racial microaggressions were associated with higher levels of alcohol consumption and more alcohol problems. Racial socialization by friends, but not parents, moderated these associations. Specifically, cultural socialization by friends buffered the effect of racist events on alcohol consumption and alcohol problems, whereas promotion of mistrust by friends exacerbated the effect of racial microaggressions on alcohol problems. Conclusions: Both blatant and subtle forms of racial discrimination were associated with higher risk for alcohol use or problems among African American young adults. Racial socialization by friends while growing up may play an important role in alcohol use outcomes during young adulthood. Findings highlight the importance of considering different forms of racial discrimination and emphasize the unique roles of racial socialization across different social contexts (i.e., parent and peers or friends) in relation to psychosocial outcomes among African American individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2019

Keywords

  • African Americans
  • Alcohol use
  • Microaggressions
  • Racial discrimination
  • Racial socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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