Alcohol misuse remains a major concern in college student populations and rates of risky and problematic drinking are specifically on the rise for women. One important factor that has been shown to be positively associated with substance use/misuse for women from historically marginalized or minoritized racial/ethnic backgrounds is exposure to racial discrimination and possible resulting traumatic stress reactions. Questions remain about the relationship between race-based traumatic stress and risky drinking particularly among diverse female college students who are at greater risk due to their marginalized status in their racial/ethnic and gender groups.
The current study examined race-based traumatic stress as a unique predictor of risky drinking when controlling for negative affectivity and general trauma symptoms, additional risk factors for risky drinking in women.
Hierarchical linear regressions revealed that race-based traumatic stress made a significant and unique contribution to the amount of variance in risky drinking, above negative affectivity, and general trauma symptoms.
These findings highlight the importance of considering experiences of racism as risk factors in substance use prevention and intervention, specifically for female college students from marginalized or minoritized racial/ethnic backgrounds.