An examination of associations between social norms and risky alcohol use among African American men who have sex with men

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Research has indicated associations between risky alcohol consumption and sexual risk behavior, which may in turn present risk of HIV acquisition or transmission. Little is known about social determinants of problematic alcohol use among African American MSM (AA MSM), a risk group disproportionately affected by HIV. The present study sought to explore associations between risky alcohol use and perceived peer norms of alcohol use among a sample of urban African American men who have sex with men (AA MSM). Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered to 142 AA MSM in Baltimore, Maryland, recruited using active and passive methods. Risky and hazardous alcohol use was assessed using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and participants self-reported descriptive and injunctive peer norms regarding frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption. Results: Nearly half reported hazardous or high risk consumption of alcohol. Perceived peer alcohol norms, both descriptive and injunctive, were associated with alcohol use, including hazardous use. Conclusions: The findings highlight the role of social factors on problematic alcohol use among AA MSM. Results indicate that AA MSM's use of alcohol is associated with their perceptions of peer alcohol use. Potential interventions could include norms-based campaigns that seek to reduce risky alcohol consumption among AA MSM as well as programs to screen and identify individuals with problematic alcohol use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-221
Number of pages4
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Volume134
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • AUDIT
  • African American men who have sex with men
  • Alcohol use
  • Social norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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