Funding: NIAAA P50 AA005595
Articulating with the before-mentioned components, this new component investigates how race/ethnicity and socioeconomic disadvantage (SED) are related to current and lifespan patterns of alcohol use and problems. Critical gaps in knowledge will be addressed, with a special focus on how a severe economic recession may exacerbate drinking problems in already disadvantaged groups. The data source is the 2010 NAS (N12), which provides valuable new data on exposure to recession-related economic hardships; indicators of childhood, adult, and chronic SED; fine-grained measures of alcohol outcomes; and oversamples of Blacks and Hispanics. The first aim examines the unique and cumulative effects of race/ethnicity and SED on heavy drinking and alcohol problems, including heavy drinking over the lifespan, involving risk curve analyses and latent class analysis to examine trajectories of heavy drinking from one’s teens to the present. The second investigates whether the effects of race/ethnicity and SED on heavy drinking and alcohol problems are exacerbated during an economic recession, due to increased exposure and vulnerability to severe hardship. Analyses will involve propensity score matching, and NAS-series trend analyses to assess changes in the magnitude of alcohol-problem disparities. Last, a stress process model is tested to reveal protective factors that may buffer the adverse effects of disadvantage. Findings will help to inform efforts to reduce alcohol-related disparities by identifying particularly acute forms of disadvantage, protective factors that mitigate their impact, and high-priority populations that need to be reached during an economic recession.