We explored how neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) is related to negative consequences of drinking to explain why racial/ethnic minority group members are more at risk than Whites for adverse alcohol outcomes. We tested direct and indirect effects of neighborhood SES on alcohol problems and examined differences by gender and race. We used data from the 2000 and 2005 National Alcohol Surveys (N = 7912 drinkers aged 18 and older; 49 % female) linked with data from the 2000 Decennial Census in multivariate path models adjusting for individual demographics. In the full sample, neighborhood disadvantage had a significant direct path to increased negative consequences, with no indirect paths through depression, positive affect or pro-drinking attitudes. Neighborhood affluence had significant indirect paths to increased negative consequences through greater pro-drinking attitudes and increased heavy drinking. Subgroup analyses showed the indirect path from affluence to consequences held for White men, with no effects of neighborhood disadvantage. For racial/ethnic minority men, significant indirect paths emerged from both neighborhood disadvantage and affluence to increased consequences through greater pro-drinking attitudes and more heavy drinking. For minority women, there was an indirect effect of neighborhood affluence through reduced depression to fewer drinking consequences. There were limited neighborhood effects on alcohol outcomes for White women. Interventions targeting pro-drinking attitudes in both affluent and disadvantaged areas may help reduce alcohol-related problems among men. Initiatives to improve neighborhood conditions could enhance mental health of minority women and reduce alcohol-related health disparities.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 22, 2016
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