Does social support buffer the relationship between stressors and alcohol use?: Findings from immigrant sexual minority latinos in North Carolina
Methods: We recruited 190 immigrant sexual minority Latinos via Respondent-Driven Sampling for psychosocial and behavioral assessments in Spanish or English. We tested whether associations between social stressors and drinking frequency (4-level categorical variable) and binge drinking (count of binge episodes in the past 30 days) varied by level of social support.
Results: English use was positively associated with binge drinking, but social support attenuated the relationship. Contrary to expectations, social support exacerbated the positive association between social comfort with gay men and weekly drinking. In addition, we identified 2 antagonistic interactions. First, personal comfort with sexual orientation was negatively associated with yearly drinking at low social support but at high social support the association was positive. Second, ethnic discrimination was positively associated with binge drinking at low social support but at high social support the association was negative.
Conclusions: We found mixed evidence that social support buffers the relationship between stressors and drinking among sexual minority Latinos. Due to the social patterning of alcohol use, social support may increase odds of some drinking. The antagonistic interactions suggest a complex and poorly understood relationship between social stressors, social support, and drinking.
Learning Areas:Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Describe how social support modifies the relationships between 4 social stressors and alcohol use among immigrant sexual minority Latinos in North Carolina. Formulate potential explanations for the observed interactions. Discuss how the findings could be used for risk-reduction interventions.
Keyword(s): Alcohol Use, Gay Men
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conceived the study and conducted the research as part of my dissertation project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.