Alcohol trajectories among biracial black subgroups: Testing the intermediate substance use hypothesis


Goings, Trenette Clark; Hidalgo, Sebastian Teran; McGovern, Patricia; & Ennett, Susan (2019). Alcohol trajectories among biracial black subgroups: Testing the intermediate substance use hypothesis. Addictive Behaviors.


Objective This study tests the intermediate biracial substance use hypothesis, which suggests that the prevalence of substance use among biracial individuals fall intermediate to their corresponding mononoracial counterparts. Using National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent and Adult Health (Add Health) data, we examine alcohol-use trajectories of a de-aggregated sample of biracial Black youth and compare them with the trajectories of the corresponding monoracial counterparts. Method The sample consists of 9421 adolescents and young adults who self-identified as 1 of 4 monoracial groups (i.e., Black, White, Hispanic, American Indian) or 1 of 3 biracial Black groups (i.e., Black-American Indian, Black-Hispanic, and Black-White). Study hypotheses are tested using latent growth curve modeling for first use, number of drinks, and binge drinking. Results We found partial support for the intermediate substance use hypothesis, with the alcohol use rates of biracial Blacks more closely resembling the non-Black corresponding group than the monoracial Black group. Black-American Indians face particularly high risk of problematic drinking. Conclusions These findings demonstrate the need for additional research clarifying the onset and maintenance of alcohol use and misuse among biracial individuals and subgroups.




Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Addictive Behaviors


Goings, Trenette Clark
Hidalgo, Sebastian Teran
McGovern, Patricia
Ennett, Susan

Year Published



May 27, 2019



Reference ID