Online Program

Prevalence and comparisons of alcohol and other drug use among college students identifying as male, female and transgender

Monday, November 2, 2015

Dianne L. Kerr, PhD, MCHES, Health Education and Promotion, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Kele Ding, Ph.D., MD., School of Health Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH
The purpose of this study was to compare alcohol and other drug (AOD) use of self-identified male, female, and transgender college students.  A secondary analysis of the American College Health Association-NCHA- II data set was conducted for spring semesters 2009-2011. A total of 288,598 students were included in the study, 549 of which identified as transgender. Transgender individuals were no more likely to use alcohol or binge drink in the past 30 days or in their lifetimes than males or females but were significantly more likely than both males and females to use illicit drugs including marijuana, inhalants, steroids, cocaine, meth, other amphetamines, sedatives, hallucinogens, opiates, ecstasy, other club drugs and other illegal drugs.  The odds for substance abuse were much higher for those who identified their gender as transgender as compared to female. These odds were over 224 times higher for current steroid use, 61 times higher for meth, 48 times higher for other club drugs, 36 times higher for inhalants and 30 times higher for opiate use in the past 30 days.  The odds for those who identified as transgender were 26 times more likely for steroids, 16 times more likely for meth and 15 times more likely for other club drugs in the past 30 days than those who identified as males.  This study is one of only a few national studies investigating AOD use among transgender college students. More studies investigating the relationship between gender identity and AOD use are needed.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the prevalence of alcohol and other drug use among college students identifying as male, female, and transgender. Compare the likelihood of alcohol and other drug abuse among college students identifying as male, female and transgender.

Keyword(s): Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), Drug Abuse

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have published several studies of LGBT health using National College Health Assessment data. I am currently working as a Provost's Faculty Associate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Kent State University and have presented extensively on LGBT health and LGBT youth bullying in the past 20 years.
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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