Date of Award

May 2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Aesoon Park

Keywords

adolescent, alcohol, neighborhood disadvantage, neighborhood disorder, racial disparity

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

Substantial racial disparities exist in adolescent alcohol behaviors. Although racial minority adolescents are less likely to drink, when they drink, they experience similar or greater levels of negative drinking consequences compared to Whites. However, such racial disparities have rarely been examined within the neighborhood environmental context. This study examined whether racial differences exist in the prospective association between adverse neighborhood conditions (i.e., disadvantage and disorder) at Year 1 (Y1) and adolescents’ current drinker status and risk for hazardous drinking at Year 2 (Y2) in racially diverse urban high school students. Data were drawn from a two-wave, one-year prospective health study of 9th to 11th graders enrolled in an urban public high school in the Northeastern U.S. (N = 386; Mage = 15.98 years [SD = 1.07]; 44% male; 18% Asian, 43% Black, 16% Multiracial, 22% White; 11% Hispanic). Results from prospective hurdle models showed no significant interactions between race and neighborhood conditions (neither disadvantage nor disorder) at Y1 for both drinker status and risk for hazardous drinking at Y2. After controlling for neighborhood disadvantage and disorder at Y1, White and Multiracial adolescents were more likely to be current drinkers (but not engage in hazardous drinking) at Y2 than Asian and Black adolescents. Results suggest that Multiracial adolescents may be at a similar risk for alcohol consumption as White adolescents and that the racial differences in the risk for alcohol consumption may not be explained by neighborhood disadvantages and perceived disorder. Future prospective research needs to replicate these results with a larger sample of adolescents from diverse neighborhood characteristics.

Access

Open Access

Available for download on Sunday, August 15, 2021

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