American Indian and Alaska Native Programs, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Nighthorse Campbell Native Health Building, P.O. Box 6508, Mailstop F800, Aurora, Colorado 80045, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
OBJECTIVE: Anthropologists with an interest in American Indian alcohol use have long held that how native people drink has been conditioned by aspects of the social organization of their societies prior to the disruptive influences of European colonialism. Our goal in this article was to explicitly test the importance of these factors in four contemporary American Indian cultural groups. METHOD: Using data on adolescent alcohol use drawn from the first full wave of the longitudinal Voices of Indian Teens Project (N = 1,651, 51% female), we tested whether patterns of quantity-frequency of alcohol use and the negative consequences of alcohol use predicted by social organzational variables were found among contemporary adolescents and, subsequently, whether these differences persisted when other, more proximal, variables were included. RESULTS: Cultural differences appeared to account for a small percentage of the variance in both quantity-frequency of alcohol use and negative consequences in the initial steps of our analyses, but the pattern in these data was not consistent with the predictions of existing theories regarding aboriginal social organization. Moreover, these cultural differences were no longer significant in the final step of our analyses, suggesting that the cultural differences that did exist were better explained by other factors, at least among these adolescents. CONCLUSIONS: Although these analyses did not indicate that culture was irrelevant in understanding adolescent alcohol use in American Indian communities, classic formulations of these effects were of limited utility in understanding the experiences of contemporary American Indian adolescents.
Quantitative alcohol interviews conducted as part of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Native American Supplement revealed very high rates of alcohol use among American Indian and Alaska Native active crack and injection drug users (IDUs). Of 147 respondents who completed the alcohol questionnaire, 100& percent had drunk alcohol within the past month, almost 42& percent reported that they drank every day, and 50& percent drank until they were drunk one-half of the time or more. Injection drug users (IDUs) demonstrated the highest frequency and quantity of alcohol use in the past 30 days. A significant positive association was also found between crack and alcohol use in the past 48 hours (c(2)=5.30, p
Recent approaches in alcohol research have dealt with the positive and negative expectations of drinkers regarding alcohol consumption. In this study 61 White male alcoholics from a residential treatment program in Ireland were compared with 53 White male alcoholics from a similar program in Canada on their rank ordering of 13 positive and 12 negative expected consequences from drinking. The Irish seemed to drink for social reasons, striving for tranquilization, detachment, and self-absorption. Their greatest concern was that tranquilization would fail, and they also feared the physical consequences of drinking. Canadians drank for social/sexual enhancement and worried most about trouble with authorities over aggression and getting into debt.
The paper reports the results of a comparative study conducted in Finland and in Estonia. A representative sample of young couples were interviewed in both countries. Husbands in both countries usually drink more often than their wives and are less dependent on their spouses' drinking company. Wives are more likely to attempt to control their spouses' drinking. Drinking and its control are associated with the emotional relationship between the spouses, and the attempts to control are logically associated with the controlled person's frequency of drinking. The wife's attempts to control the husband's drinking are more a blue collar than a white collar phenomenon. Finnish women and men drink more often than their Estonian counterparts. Maybe as a result of the greater frequency of drinking, drinking in Finland is more family-oriented than in Estonia. The Estonian culture seems more prone to informal control of the family members' drinking. These differences may be at least partly caused by differing alcohol policy climate in the two countries.
To identify specific alcohol use beliefs and behaviors among local high school students; to determine whether relationships exist between alcohol use and various sociodemographic and lifestyle behaviors; and to assist in the development and implementation of alcohol abuse prevention programs.
This cross-sectional study involved the completion of a questionnaire by 1236 Grade 9-13 students (86% response rate) from 62 randomly selected classrooms in three Canadian urban schools. Data analyzed here are part of a larger lifestyle survey.
A total of 24% of students reported never having tasted alcohol, 22% have tasted alcohol but do not currently drink, 39% are current moderate drinkers, 11% are current heavy drinkers (five or more drinks on one occasion at least once a month), and 5% did not answer. Reasons stated most often for not drinking were "bad for health" and "upbringing," while reasons stated most often for drinking were "enjoy it" and "to get in a party mood." Student drinking patterns were significantly related to gender, ethnicity, grade, and the reported drinking habits of parents and friends. Older male adolescents who describe their ethnicity as Canadian are at higher risk for heavy drinking than students who are younger or female, or identify their ethnicity as European or Asian. Current heavy drinkers are at higher risk than other students for engaging in other high-risk behaviors such as drinking and driving, being a passenger in a car when the driver is intoxicated, and daily smoking.
Heavy alcohol use in adolescents remains an important community health concern. Older self-described Canadian and Canadian-born male adolescents are at higher risk for heavy drinking. Current and heavy drinking rises significantly between Grades 9 and 12. Students who drink heavily are more likely to drink and drive, to smoke daily, and to have friends and parents who drink alcohol.
Alcohol use has adversely affected many aspects of the Alaska Native community. To a large extent, overcoming the problem of alcohol abuse may require that Alaska Natives craft individual and community solutions to detrimental health, social, and economic conditions and instill new patterns of living that inhibit alcohol abuse. An example of this approach is the Alaska Federation of Natives' "sobriety movement," a grassroots campaign to promote sobriety that emphasizes traditional values and lifestyles. The use of "healing" or other traditional methods may help Alaska Natives both recover from the trauma of decades of cultural conflict and address alcohol problems in their communities.
BACKGROUND: During the 1990s, most Western countries officially recommended that pregnant women abstain from alcohol. However, information about the potentially harmful effects of alcohol during pregnancy does not necessarily equate to understanding, and information and knowledge may not be associated with pregnant women's own attitudes toward drinking. METHODS: From October to December 1998, we interviewed 439 Danish-speaking pregnant women who were referred for routine antenatal care at their first visit at 15 to 16 weeks of gestation. The women were interviewed about their attitudes toward and beliefs and knowledge about drinking during pregnancy. Questions were also asked about information on alcohol provided to the women. RESULTS: Seventy-six percent of the women considered some alcohol intake during pregnancy to be acceptable, mostly on a weekly level. Binge drinking, however, was considered to be harmful by 85%. These attitudes were not associated with knowledge about the official recommendation or whether the woman had talked to her general practitioner or midwife about alcohol during pregnancy. Most of the women had received information on alcohol from the mass media or relatives, but most women believed that information about alcohol during pregnancy could best be communicated to them by health personnel. Only 21% were aware of the official recommendation from the Danish National Board of Health. One third had discussed alcohol with their general practitioner or midwife, but these women had mostly been advised that some alcohol intake was acceptable. CONCLUSIONS: Most of the women considered some alcohol intake during pregnancy to be acceptable, mostly on a weekly level, and their attitudes were independent of their knowledge about the subject. Most of the women had not been informed about alcohol during pregnancy.
This paper examines ethnic disparities in rates of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUIA) in a representative sample of Ontario adults. Data were drawn from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Monitor, a survey of 8276 Ontario adults aged 18 and older. We considered 19 distinct ethnic groups based on participants' self-identification of ethno-cultural heritage. Differences in the prevalence of DUIA across ethnic groups were limited. Relative to other ethnic groups, those adults who identified as Irish had a significantly higher rate of DUIA, while those of Italian and Chinese ethnicity had significantly lower rates of DUIA. The mediating effects of psychological distress (General Health Questionnaire) and harmful and problematic drinking (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test [AUDIT] consumption, dependence and problems) on the direct relationship between ethnic identity and impaired driving were also considered. Mediation was observed as remaining ethnic differences in DUIA disappeared when AUDIT subscales were introduced. These findings are interpreted in the context of patterns of alcohol consumption among ethnic populations and their impact on DUIA. Implications of study findings are considered with respect to the role of ethnicity in impaired driving research and its impact on programs and policies directed at reducing impaired driving.
The Alaska Native Preschool Project was centered in the Head Start Programs of two typical Alaska native villages near the Bering Sea. Data were collected over 5 years, 1990 to 1995, from preschool parents (N = 342) with surveys, a panel of villagers (N = 25 to 30) using qualitative interviews; villagers using participant observation; and a limited review of public records. The villages typify the changing life of Alaskan villagers who live in the Bering Straits area. Qualitative data indicated that a number of problems were associated with drug and alcohol use in the villages. The level of smokeless tobacco use from surveys in the previous month among preschool parents (41%) was self-reported to be almost 10 times greater than the national level reported in the 1995 National Household Survey. The use of marijuana reported by preschool parents in the previous month was almost 3 times higher than the 1995 National Household Survey estimates (19 vs 6.7%). Tobacco use in the previous month was reported at over 56%, a level that was over 1 1/2 times the level of use at 34.7% estimated from the 1995 National Household Survey. For 26-34 year olds, previous month alcohol use was lower for the village parents than estimated from the 1995 National Household Survey (38 vs 63%). The self-reported levels of other drug use among preschool parents were very low compared with overall United States rates.
This research involves the examination of drinking motives, alcohol consequences, and ethnic identity in a sample of Native and non-Native college student drinkers in Alaska. Although more Alaska Native students are abstinent from alcohol compared to any other ethnic group, Native students who do drink experience greater alcohol consequences and dependence symptoms. Therefore, we attempted to examine the influence of ethnic identity on alcohol consequences in a diverse sample of Native and non-Native students in Alaska. Findings showed that drinking motives, as measured by the Drinking Motives Questionnaire (social, coping, enhancement, and conformity), significantly predicted alcohol consequences after controlling for frequency of monthly binge drinking. In addition, after controlling for depression, binge drinking, and drinking motives, one aspect of ethnic identity (Affirmation, Belonging, and Commitment) was significantly negatively related to alcohol consequences, whereas another aspect of ethnic identity (Ethnic Identity Search) was not. Taken together, these findings suggest that interventions for college student alcohol misuse that target Native students should be culturally grounded and focused on enhancing the Affirmation, Belonging, and Commitment to one's ethnic heritage and should address drinking motives, especially drinking to cope, as a way to reduce alcohol related harm.