Date of Award

August 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Aesoon Park

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


Personal experiences of racial discrimination have been well investigated for its association with diverse alcohol-related outcomes among Black Americans. However, vicarious racial discrimination (i.e., the observation of others’ experience of racial discrimination) has yet to be examined for its alcohol-related outcomes. The extent to which vicarious discrimination experiences influence alcohol outcomes may differ by three components of racial identity: centrality (significance of being Black), private regard (personal evaluative judgments of being Black), and public regard (beliefs about others’ evaluative judgments of Blacks). The current within-subject experiment examined whether associations of vicarious racial discrimination (manipulated by video clips) with alcohol use craving and alcohol attentional bias differed by racial identity among Black young adults. Ancillary analyses explored whether negative affect in response to vicarious racism exposures mediated the interaction between vicarious racism and racial identity. Fifty-one Black young adult at-risk drinkers (mean age = 21 years [SD = 3.02]; 60% female) completed mild and extreme vicarious racism conditions and tasks to assess alcohol craving and alcohol attentional bias in random orders. High private regard buffered effects of vicarious racial discrimination on alcohol craving, while high centrality exacerbated its effects, after accounting for sex, social desirability, and frequencies of binge drinking and racial discrimination. No moderating role of public regard was found. Further, negative affect did not mediate the interaction between vicarious racism and any of the racial identity components. Current findings shed light on the role of vicarious racism in alcohol outcomes of Black young adults and sub-groups of Blacks at risk for adverse alcohol outcomes based on racial identity.


Open Access