" Drinking buddies" and alcohol dependence symptoms among African American men and women in Baltimore, MD

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Abstract

Background: Social network characteristics have been found to be associated with a variety of risky behaviors, including alcohol consumption. This study assessed the relationships between the characteristics of drinking buddies and alcohol dependence symptoms among a sample of African American men and women. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study using baseline data from 721 impoverished African American men and women participating in an HIV prevention study in Baltimore, MD. Alcohol dependence symptoms were assessed through the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and was defined as AUDIT score. ≥. 13 for females and AUDIT score. ≥. 15 for males. Logistic regression models with generalized estimating equations (GEE) using network member as the unit of analysis were conducted to assess the associations between the gender or relationship (i.e., kin, non-kin or sex partner) of the drinking buddies and the participants' alcohol dependence symptoms. Results: Approximately 22% of the participants had alcohol dependence symptoms. Among male participants, alcohol dependence symptoms were associated with having drinking buddies who were sex partners (AOR: 2.41; 95%CI: 1.32, 4.39) or who were female (AOR: 2.29; 95%CI: 1.29, 4.05). Among female participants, association between the presence of drinking buddy and alcohol dependence symptoms did not depend on the types of relationship or the gender of the drinking buddy. Conclusions: Social network characteristics with respect to alcohol dependence symptoms vary according to the type of relationship or the gender of the drinking buddies, especially among men. Gender-specific norm-based interventions may be a useful strategy to decrease drink problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-129
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Volume128
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

Keywords

  • African American
  • Alcohol dependence symptoms
  • Drinking buddy
  • Social networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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