Association of racism and substance use treatment with belief in the myth of an American Indian/Alaska Native biological vulnerability to alcohol problems
Gonzalez, Vivian M.
Skewes, Monica C.
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Objectives: Belief in an American Indian/Alaska Native (AIAN) specific biological vulnerability (BV) to alcohol problems is associated with worse alcohol outcomes among AIANs. Despite a notable lack of evidence that biogenetic factors play a greater role in the development of alcohol problems among AIANs than other groups, many people still believe this myth. Consistent with theory and evidence that greater experiences with discrimination leads to the internalization of stereotypes and oppression, we hypothesized that greater perceived racial discrimination (racism) would be associated with greater BV belief, but that having a stronger ethnic identity would weaken this association. We also examined whether previous substance use treatment as well as participation in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) was associated with BV belief. Method: Participants were 198 reservation-dwelling AI adults with a substance use problem who completed a survey as part of a larger community-based participatory study. Results: A multiple regression analysis revealed that greater systemic racism was associated with greater belief in a BV; this association was not moderated by ethnic identity. Greater interpersonal racism was also associated with greater BV belief—but only among those low in ethnic identity. A regression analysis revealed that previous treatment, AA, and NA participation were not associated with BV belief. Conclusions: Greater systemic and interpersonal racism were associated with belief in a BV, and greater ethnic identity buffered the association between interpersonal racism and BV belief. This suggests that both combatting racism and fostering positive ethnic identity may help to lessen BV belief. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved)
© American Psychological Association, 2023-06-22. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at: https://doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000602
Gonzalez, V. M., & Skewes, M. C. (2023). Association of racism and substance use treatment with belief in the myth of an American Indian/Alaska Native biological vulnerability to alcohol problems. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 29(3), 339–347. https://doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000602