142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Race, Employment Disadvantages, and Heavy Drinking: A Multilevel Model

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 8:50 AM - 9:10 AM

Celia Lo, PhD , Sociology and Social Work, Texas Woman's University, Denton, TX
Tyrone Cheng, PhD, LCSW, PIP , School of Social Work, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Aims. We intended to determine (1) whether stress from employment disadvantages led to increased frequency of heavy drinking and (2) whether race had a role in the relationship between such disadvantages and heavy drinking. Methods. Study data came from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, a prospective study that has followed a representative sample of youth since 1979. We used specifically that data collected 1982–2010 (11 years), because it included heavy-drinking measures; our final sample numbered 10,171 respondents, which generated 75,394 person-waves for data analysis. We let state unemployment rate, number of weeks unemployed, and number of weeks out of the labor force indicate time-varying employment disadvantages. Frequency of heavy drinking was measured as number of times in past month at least 6 drinks were consumed on a single occasion. Results. Both of our hypotheses were supported by results of mixed-effects linear regression capturing the time-varying nature of the 3 employment disadvantages and of the heavy-drinking outcome. The results show that more-frequent heavy drinking was associated with employment disadvantages, and that disadvantages’ effect on drinking was stronger for Blacks and Hispanics than for Whites. Conclusions. That worsening employment disadvantages have worse effects on minority groups’ heavy drinking than on Whites’ heavy drinking probably contributes to the racial health disparities in our nation. Policies and programs addressing such disparities are especially important during economic downturns.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate that stress affects heavy drinking. Evaluate the role of fluctuating economic conditions played in citizens’ heavy drinking. Evaluate the role of labor market forces played in citizens’ heavy drinking. Explain race’s moderating role in employment disadvantages’ relationship to heavy drinking.

Keyword(s): Alcohol Use, Minority Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting research in the field of alcohol and drug use for the past 25 years. I have also been the principal or co-principal investigator of several federally funded grants focusing on alcohol and drug abuse.
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.