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Race Differences in the Association Between Binge Drinking and Treatment Among First-Time Justice-System-Impacted Youth

NCJ Number
Alcohol and Alcoholism Volume: 58 Issue: 1 Dated: 2023 Pages: 23-30
Emily Kan; Nicholas Riano; Jordan Beardslee; Paul Frick; Laurence Steinberg; Elizabeth Cauffman
Date Published

This article reports on research that examined whether race or ethnicity impacted the relation between binge drinking and youths' likelihood of receiving alcohol treatment.


The authors aim to determine whether there are racial/ethnic differences in the association between binge drinking frequency and community-based alcohol treatment among justice-system-impacted adolescents and young adults. The authors examined whether race/ethnicity moderated the relation between binge drinking and youths' likelihood of receiving alcohol treatment. The sample included 1216 male, first-time-arrested youth from the Crossroads Study (2011-2018). Participants were recruited from CA, PA and LA. Among youth who binge drank occasionally, Black youth were less likely to receive alcohol treatment than White (b = -0.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] [-0.13, -0.04]) and Hispanic/Latino (b = -0.06, 95% CI [-0.09, -0.02]) youth. There were no differences between the White and Hispanic/Latino youth. Black youth who were frequent binge drinkers were as likely to receive alcohol treatment as White youth who binge drank significantly less often. There were no racial/ethnic differences in alcohol treatment at the highest level of binge drinking. Black youth who binge drink occasionally are less likely than White youth to receive alcohol treatment. The present findings highlight a need for efforts to mitigate racial disparities in access to or motivations to seek community-based treatment. (Published Abstract Provided)