Ethnic Identity, Drinking Motives, and Alcohol Consequences Among Alaska Native and Non-Native College Students
Skewes, Monica C.
Blume, Arthur W.
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This research involves the examination of drinking motives, alcohol consequences, and ethnic identity in a sample of Native and non-Native college student drinkers in Alaska. Although more Alaska Native students are abstinent from alcohol compared to any other ethnic group, Native students who do drink experience greater alcohol consequences and dependence symptoms. Therefore, we attempted to examine the influence of ethnic identity on alcohol consequences in a diverse sample of Native and non-Native students in Alaska. Findings showed that drinking motives, as measured by the Drinking Motives Questionnaire (social, coping, enhancement, and conformity), significantly predicted alcohol consequences after controlling for frequency of monthly binge drinking. In addition, after controlling for depression, binge drinking, and drinking motives, one aspect of ethnic identity (Affirmation, Belonging, and Commitment) was significantly negatively related to alcohol consequences, whereas another aspect of ethnic identity (Ethnic Identity Search) was not. Taken together, these findings suggest that interventions for college student alcohol misuse that target Native students should be culturally grounded and focused on enhancing the Affirmation, Belonging, and Commitment to one's ethnic heritage and should address drinking motives, especially drinking to cope, as a way to reduce alcohol related harm.