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Ethnic Identity and Substance Use Among African American Women: The Mediating Influence of Gender Roles

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 41 Issue: 3 Dated: Summer 2011 Pages: 379-400
Date Published
22 pages

This study hypothesized that the relationship between ethnic identity and substance use would be fully mediated by gender role orientation.


Ethnic identity is protective against substance use and other problem behaviors; however, some studies have implicated ethnic identity as a contributor to substance use. Study participants included 562 African-American women in the southeastern region of the United States. Participants completed the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (MEIM) and the Personal Attributes Questionnaire and reported past 30-day drug use. The study used structural equation modeling. The composite model displayed acceptable global fit. Ethnic identity predicted African-American females' identification with male gender role. Identification with male gender roles was positively linked to perceptions of drug risk and past 30-day drug use. Perceptions of drug risk were negatively linked to past 30-day drug use. Identification with masculine gender roles as a significant drug risk factor suggests some implications for prevention programming. (Published Abstract)

Date Published: January 1, 2011