208932 Ethnic Discrimination Is Associated with Substance Use Among Ethnic Women with Trauma Histories

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lekeisha A. Sumner, PhD , Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Jennifer Carmona, PhD , Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Tamra Loeb, PhD , Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Hector F. Myers, PhD , Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Gail. E. Wyatt, PhD , Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Background: Substance use is related to psychosocial stress and has been implicated in health risks, such as HIV. This study examined the relationships among psychosocial stressors, depression and substance use and, investigated whether ethnicity moderated the associations. Methods: Eighty-five, low-income women (mean age = 35.05 years), who self-identified as racially ethnic (68% African American, 31% Latina)and reported a history of child sexual abuse completed demographic questionnaires, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, the Chronic Burden Scale, the Perceived Ethnic Discrimination Questionnaire, and the WHO-ASSIST screening tool (Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test). Regression analysis was used to examine the direct effects of chronic stress burden, ethnic discrimination, ethnicity, and depressive symptoms on substance use within the previous past three months. Results: The regression equation was significantly related to substance use, R2 = 22, F = (5.80) = 4.59, p = .001. Ethnic discrimination ( = .02; p = .00) was positively associated with substance use. Depressive symptoms ( = .01; p = .59), chronic stress burden ( = 01; p = .78) or ethnicity ( = 37; p = .23) were not associated with substance use in the previous three months. There was a slight trend for ethnicity to moderate recent substance use ( = .00; p = .09). Conclusion: Exposure to discrimination appears to be an important risk factor for substance use among ethnic women. Although additional studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms of this relationship, trauma interventions that address ethnic discrimination may inhibit substance use.

Learning Objectives:
1. Demonstrate that ethnic discrimination is a risk factor for substance use among African American and Latina women with histories of childhood trauma. 2. Discuss implications of substance use on high-risk HIV behavior for ethnic women.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD in Clinical Psychology with extensive research relating to the role of psychosocial factors, particularly chronic stress and trauma, on the health and well-being of ethnic minorities and women.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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