Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 581–590 | Cite as

Racial discrimination and substance use: longitudinal associations and identity moderators

  • Thomas E. Fuller-RowellEmail author
  • Courtney D. Cogburn
  • Amanda B. Brodish
  • Stephen C. Peck
  • Oksana Malanchuk
  • Jacquelynne S. Eccles


Current research indicates that racial discrimination is pervasive in the lives of African Americans. Although there are a variety of ways in which discrimination may contribute to health, one potentially important pathway is through its impact on substance use. Addressing the paucity of longitudinal research on this topic, the present study examined the influence of teacher discrimination on changes in substance use over time among African American adolescents and considered three dimensions of racial identity as moderators of this association (centrality, private regard, and public regard). Latent variable SEM analyses indicated that, on average, levels of discrimination were associated with increases in substance use across the high school years. However, public regard was found to moderate this association such that discrimination was less strongly associated with increases in substance use for individual who reported lower levels of public regard. The implications of these findings are discussed.


Racial discrimination Stress Substance use Identity African American Health disparities 



Support for this research was provided by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant 1R01HD048970-01A2, the National Institute on Aging grant RC2 AG036780-01, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas E. Fuller-Rowell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Courtney D. Cogburn
    • 2
  • Amanda B. Brodish
    • 2
  • Stephen C. Peck
    • 2
  • Oksana Malanchuk
    • 2
  • Jacquelynne S. Eccles
    • 2
  1. 1.Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society ScholarUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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