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Intersections of poverty, race/ethnicity, and sex: alcohol consumption and adverse outcomes in the United States.

Glass JE, Rathouz PJ, Gattis M, Joo YS, Nelson JC, Williams EC. Intersections of poverty, race/ethnicity, and sex: alcohol consumption and adverse outcomes in the United States. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology. 2017 May 1; 52(5):515-524.

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We examine whether intersectionality theory-which formalizes the notion that adverse health outcomes owing to having a marginalized social status, identity, or characteristic, may be magnified for individuals with an additional marginalized social status, identity, or characteristic-can be applied using quantitative methods to describe the differential effects of poverty on alcohol consumption across sex and race/ethnicity. Using the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, we analyze longitudinal data from Black, Hispanic, and White drinkers (n? = 21,140) to assess multiplicative interactions between poverty, as defined by the US Census Bureau, sex, and race/ethnicity, on adverse alcohol outcomes. Findings indicated that the effect of poverty on the past-year incidence of heavy episodic drinking was stronger among Black men and Black women in comparison to men and women of other racial/ethnic groups. Poverty reduction programs that are culturally informed may help reduce racial/ethnic disparities in the adverse outcomes of alcohol consumption.

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