Variability in the Trauma-related Etiology of Alcohol Involvement in African American and White Women


Despite empirical evidence that traumatic stress exposure increases risk for alcohol use and problems and African Americans experience higher rates of traumatic stress exposure, alcohol involvement is lower in African Americans compared to Whites.  This presentation aims to demonstrate that existing trauma-related etiological models of alcohol related problems may not fit as well for African-American and White women. Additionally, the presentation will highlight the importance of considering psychosocial and sociodemographic factors associated with race/ethnicity when examining the impact of trauma on substance related outcomes.

By attending this presentation, participates will: 

  • To describe racial disparities in traumatic stress exposure and alcohol involvement.
  • To recognize inconsistencies in trauma-related etiologic models of alcohol problems across race.
  • To discuss race associated risk and protective factors that should be considered when examining trauma-related etiology.

Kimberly B. Werner, PhD is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar (NIDA T32 , “Transdisciplinary Training in Addictions Research,” P.I. Renee Cunningham-Williams) at Washington University in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work working under the mentorship of Dr. Kathleen Bucholz, PhD. Her prior research at Center for Trauma Recovery at UMSL examined psychophysiological alterations associated with posttraumatic stress disorder. Her postdoctoral work in addiction epidemiology has focused on racial disparities in trauma related etiology of psychopathology, specifically substance related outcomes. Her recent research includes a broader operationalization of stress by examining the impact of traumatic and chronic stressors including racial discrimination, intergenerational stress (i.e. maternal report of racial discrimination and traumatic exposure), and neighborhood disadvantage on substance involvement and mental health outcomes in emerging adulthood.

Share: Pinterest