Patterns of alcohol consumption and psychological distress: an examination of the prevalence and the relation among

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Alabama Libraries

The differences in psychological distress among older adults of varying racial/ethnic backgrounds, varying alcohol consumption patterns, and the interaction between these variables were examined. Data were obtained from the 2009 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). Participants aged 60 and older who were not missing data on any of the study variables were included (n= 19,925). The racial/ethnic composition of the sample was 82% White, 4% Black, 8% Asian, 1% American Indian/ Alaska Native, and 5% Latino. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were conducted in order to test the main effects of race/ethnicity, past year alcohol consumption, frequency of binge drinking, and the interaction of race/ethnicity with the alcohol consumption variables. Main effects for race/ethnicity indicating that Blacks and Asians experienced significantly less psychological distress than Whites were found. A significant main effect was also found for frequency of binge drinking indicating that an increased frequency of binge drinking significantly predicted an increase in psychological distress. These results indicate that older adults of certain racial/ethnic groups may be less vulnerable to psychological distress as compared to Whites. The results also indicate that older adults who binge drink more frequently may experience increased levels of psychological distress which provides further evidence for the negative effects of binge drinking on the mental health of this age group. These results indicate that the development of binge drinking interventions for older adults may be an important step in improving the mental health of this age group.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Clinical psychology, Gerontology