Problem Drinking's Associations with Social Structure and Mental Health Care: Race/Ethnicity Differences

Celia C. Lo, Tyrone Cheng, Rebecca J. Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


This research used a nationally representative sample of 12,756 respondents self-identified as White, Black, Hispanic, or Asian to examine problem drinking in relationship to social structure and mental healthcare factors. Associations between problem drinking and particular factors varied by racial/ethnic group. Results also indicated that Whites' problem-drinking rates were higher than those of Hispanics, Blacks, and Asians. Americans sometimes use alcohol to manage stress stemming from social disadvantage and inadequate material resources. Across racial/ethnic groups, drinking level was associated with the type and degree of such disadvantage. Additionally, the presence of a mental health problem was associated with problem drinking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-242
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014



  • frequency of problem drinking
  • quantity of alcohol consumed
  • racial/ethnic differences
  • self-medication hypothesis
  • social stress theory

Cite this