Social influences on drinking trajectories from adolescence to young adulthood in an urban minority sample

Beth A. Reboussin, Debra M. Furr-Holden, Kerry M. Green, Nicholas S. Ialongo, Jill A. Rabinowitz, Pamela A. Matson, Brion Maher, Victoria Nelson, Adam J. Milam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Research on the heterogeneity in drinking patterns of urban minorities within a socioecological framework is rare. The purpose of this study was to explore multiple, distinct patterns of drinking from adolescence to young adulthood in a sample of urban minority youth and to examine the influence of neighborhood, family, and peers on these trajectories. Method: Data are from a longitudinal study of 584 (56% male) primarily Black (87%) youth who were first sampled in childhood based on their residence in low-income neighborhoods in Baltimore City and followed up annually through age 26. Data were analyzed using group-based trajectory modeling and multinomial logistic regression. Results: Modeling revealed six trajectories from ages 14 to 26: abstainer, experimenter, adult increasing, young adult increasing, adolescent limited, and adolescent increasing. Neighborhood disadvantage was a risk factor for drinking regardless of the timing of onset. Perceptions of availability, peer drinking, and parental approval for drinking were risk factors for underage drinking trajectories, whereas parental supervision was a significant protective factor. Positive social activities in neighborhoods was protective against increased drinking, whereas a decline in perceptions of peer drinking was associated with adolescent-limited drinking. Conclusions: Our findings uniquely highlight the importance of developing interventions involving parents for urban minority youth for whom family is particularly relevant in deterring underage drinking. Perhaps most importantly, our data suggest that interventions that support positive social activities in disadvantaged neighborhoods are protective against adolescent drinking and altering perceptions of peer drinking may reduce adolescent drinking among low-income, urban minority youth. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 80, 186–195, 2019).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-195
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • African Americans/statistics & numerical data
  • Alcohol Drinking/epidemiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Minority Groups/statistics & numerical data
  • Parents
  • Peer Group
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Behavior
  • Underage Drinking/statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Toxicology


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