The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3318.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 7

Abstract #70547

Low perceived chances for success in life and subsequent binge drinking among inner-city minority youth during early adolescence

Kenneth W. Griffin, PhD, MPH1, Gilbert J. Botvin, PhD1, Tracy R. Nichols, PhD1, and Yvonne Rafferty, PhD2. (1) Public Health, Cornell Weill Medical College, 411 E 69 St., New York, NY 10021, 212-746-1270,, (2) Psychology, Pace University, 41 Park Row, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10037

Introduction: Research suggests that inner-city minority youth living in impoverished communities may develop a sense of hopelessness about their chances for success in life. These youth may abandon conventional notions of success in favor of problem behaviors such as binge drinking.

Methods: Predominantly Black and Hispanic students (N=1328) from 13 inner-city schools completed confidential surveys in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. Eight items measured one’s estimation of achieving certain adaptive life goals. Students who reported that they typically drink 5 or more drinks per drinking occasion were identified as binge drinkers.

Results: In the 9th grade, 5% of students reported binge drinking. Logistic regression analyses controlling for gender, race, and family structure revealed that 7th grade students who believed their chances of attending college were unlikely were 3.6 times as likely to be binge drinkers two years later (OR = 3.6, 95% CI = 1.3 – 9.8); those who believed they were unlikely to get a job that pays well, have a happy family life, or be respected in the community were 3 to 4 times as likely to be binge drinkers two years later.

Discussion: In addition to systemic changes that provide improved educational and vocational opportunities for youth in disadvantaged settings, it is important to provide skills training programs for these youth so that they can develop the social and personal skills and competencies that foster success in developmental tasks and contribute to a sense of self-efficacy in one’s ability to achieve success in the future.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alcohol, Minorities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Alcohol Problems and Solutions in Special Populations Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA