Dimensions of ethnic identity as protective factors for substance use and sexual risk behaviors in African American college students Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To examine ethnic identity and ethnic socialization as potential protective factors for risk behaviors among US college students. PARTICIPANTS: Participants were 398 African American and Afro-Caribbean students recruited from 30 colleges and universities during September 2008-October 2009. METHODS: Data on hazardous alcohol use, substance use, sexual behaviors, ethnic identity, and ethnic/racial socialization were collected. Hierarchical linear and negative binomial regression analyses were conducted to determine the degree to which ethnic identity and ethnic/racial socialization predicted the risk behaviors. RESULTS: Ethnic Identity affirmation, belonging, and commitment (EI-ABC) significantly predicted lower substance use and hazardous alcohol use. Ethnic/racial socialization was not a significant predictor of substance use or sexual risk behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: Components of ethnic identity are potentially protective against alcohol and substance use behaviors. Additional research is recommended to determine effective intervention strategies.

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Heads, A., Glover, A. M., Castillo, L. G., Blozis, S., & Kim, S. Y.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • February 2018