Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Despite lower levels of drinking, African-Americans encounter more problems, study finds

Date:
February 24, 2014
Source:
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science
Summary:
A theoretical paper examines a paradox in African-American drinking. African-Americans report initiation to drinking at an older age, lower rates of use and lower levels of use in nearly all age groups. Nonetheless, the group encounters higher levels of problems related to alcohol when compared to European-Americans. The researchers examined all current research on African American drinking to build a cohesive theory pulling together genetic, historical and sociocultural factors.

A theoretical paper with lead author Tamika Zapolski, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), examines a paradox in African American drinking. African Americans report initiation to drinking at an older age, lower rates of use and lower levels of use in nearly all age groups. Nonetheless, the group encounters higher levels of problems related to alcohol when compared to European Americans.

Related Articles


The paper is featured this month by the American Psychological Association on the Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs' African American Heritage Month website, found at: http://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/ethnicity-health/african-american/index.aspx

"So much research has compared drinking habits and effects between African Americans and European Americans, but no one is truly investigating the reasons," Zapolski said. "Understanding the reasons for these differences can ultimately improve diagnoses and intervention plans."

Zapolski examined all current research on African American drinking to build a cohesive theory pulling together genetic, historical and sociocultural factors. The paper aimed to explain why African Americans are more likely to abstain or drink less compared to European Americans; why those who do drink encounter more negative consequences; and which African American population is at the greatest risk for alcoholism or other alcohol problems.

Findings include:

  • African American have historically abstained or restricted use of alcohol, dating back to preslavery culture. This continues to be the cultural norm with religious beliefs and societal disapproval as factors.
  • Historically, African American culture condones heavy alcohol use or intoxication at any age. Alternately, the dominant culture doesn't view drinking as a young adult or moderate drinking as problematic as what is generally found within the African American culture.
  • The higher frequency of negative consequences is due in part to these social sanctions within the African American community. While this protects against some drinking, it also means that when individuals do drink it's viewed as more of a problem and results in negative social consequences.
  • African Americans experience a higher response to alcohol at lower levels, resulting in less drinking because the effects are felt with less consumption. This also means moderate drinking may result in signs of intoxication.
  • African American communities encounter a higher police presence, which results in more problems with public alcohol consumption.
  • Very low income African American men encountered the highest risk for problematic drinking and faced the most problems. This group also had less access to positive life influences that would discourage drinking, such as steady well-paying jobs, family responsibilities and stable support systems.

"As a whole, the research shows the strength of the community," Zapolski said. "African Americans are drinking less and the problems are not due to high drinking, but the sanctioning outside and within the community. Still, there are subgroups who are facing problems, and continued research can help address these issues."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science. "Despite lower levels of drinking, African-Americans encounter more problems, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224204859.htm>.
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science. (2014, February 24). Despite lower levels of drinking, African-Americans encounter more problems, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224204859.htm
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science. "Despite lower levels of drinking, African-Americans encounter more problems, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224204859.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins