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Stress, race and substance use in college

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Broman, Clifford L. 2005. "Stress, race and substance use in college." College Student Journal, 39 : 340-352.

This study investigates the role of stress in the substance use behavior of black and white college students. We examine the issue across race and look both at measures of traumatic stress and life stress. A perusal of the research literature reveals that the relationship between traumatic stressors and substance use behavior among both black and white college students has yet to be examined. Data used in this study are from a convenience sample of 1,587 college students from a Midwestern state. Substance use is measured using three measures: illicit drug use, heavy episodic drinking, and alcohol problems as measured by the RAPI. Principal method of analysis is multiple regression. Findings indicate that both life stress and traumatic stress are associated with increases in substance use. However, our analysis showed that the relationship between stressors and substance problems varies by race and gender. Life stress is associated with greater alcohol problems for all groups except for black males, while traumatic stress is associated with increases in alcohol problems for whites only.

Country of focus: United States.

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