Testing Relationships Between Racial-Ethnic Identity, Racial-Ethnic Discrimination, and Substance Misuse Among Black and Latinx Older Adults in a Nationally Representative Sample

Laurent Reyes, Peter Treitler, N. Andrew Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Older adults (aged 55+) comprise a rapidly growing population both in number and racial-ethnic diversity. In recent years, substance misuse prevalence among older adults has increased and is expected to continue rising, highlighting the need to understand risk and protective factors in this population. Using nationally representative data, this study examines the association of racial-ethnic identity and racial-ethnic discrimination with alcohol and illicit drug use among Black and Latinx older adults, and whether racial-ethnic identity moderates the relationship between discrimination and substance misuse. Findings show that among Latinx older adults discrimination is associated with increased substance misuse, and higher ethnic identity is associated with decreased illicit drug use. Higher racial-ethnic identity buffers the effects of discrimination on illicit drug use for Latinx, but not for Black respondents. Findings of this study highlight the complex associations between racial-ethnic identity, discrimination, and substance misuse, varying across racial-ethnic group, age, context, and other factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)96-106
Number of pages11
JournalResearch on Aging
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Keywords

  • alcohol abuse
  • discrimination
  • illicit drug use
  • race/ethnicity
  • racial-ethnic identity
  • substance misuse

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