indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439
Jobs at the Bureau of Indian Education
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines

printer friendly version
Study links childhood experience to alcohol abuse
Friday, September 19, 2003

Native American children who were abused or attended boarding school are more likely to have problems with alcohol as adults, according to a study being published this month.

In what was said to be the first study of its kind, researchers found that men who suffered a combination of physical and sexual abuse as children were almost twice as likely to abuse alcohol. Women who were sexually abused or sent away to school were twice as likely to have alcohol problems, researchers said.

"The findings suggest that childhood exposures are highly relevant to Native American communities," the study authors wrote.

Published in the September issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the study aims to understand why alcohol affects Indian Country disproportionately. From 1994 to 1996, the alcohol death rate among Native Americans was over seven times the rate for all other Americans, a figure considered conservative.

In studies among non-Natives, childhood experiences have been shown to correlate with alcohol problems later in life. But similar information about Natives was inconsistent, researchers said, because the studies were limited to one tribe.

By looking at seven tribes, researchers were able to get a wider view of alcohol abuse among different Native communities. Members of three tribes from the Phoenix area of the Indian Health Service (IHS), and one each from the Minnesota, Oklahoma, Portland and Nashville areas participated in face-to-face interviews with other Indians from 1998 to 2001.

The 1660 men and women subjects were asked about five childhood "maltreatment" categories: physical abuse, physical neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and emotional neglect. They were also asked about parental alcoholism, education and cultural characteristics like language use, participation in tribal ceremonies and proximity to tribal homelands.

According to the study results, lifetime prevalence of alcohol dependence was high in all but one tribe. Similarly, parental alcoholism was reported by more than half of tribal members in all but one tribe.

Overall, 9 percent of men involved in the study had been diagnosed with alcohol abuse and 30 percent with alcohol dependence. Among women, 5 percent had been diagnosed with alcohol abuse and 18 percent with alcohol dependence.

Men and women were affected differently by other childhood maltreatment, researchers found. Combined physical and sexual abuse trigged higher alcohol abuse rates for men while sexual abuse and boarding school attendance were determining factors for women.

"The boarding school findings suggest that the removal from home for educational purposes has an independent negative consequence above that of maltreatment for women, but not for men," the study authors wrote.

The cultural and tribal influences on alcohol dependence were harder to discern for researchers, in part because of the diversity of the subjects. But they found that "relationships between cultural factors and alcohol dependence were not significant among men."

On the other hand, women who knew more of their language were had a higher risk of alcohol problems. Women who lived closer to their tribal lands were less likely to report alcohol dependence, the study found.

Researchers said their findings showed the need to develop social programs to lessen the exposure to adult drinking and to establish intensive preventive education on childhood sexual abuse.

The study authors were Mary P. Koss, Nicole P. Yuan, Douglas Dightman, Ronald J. Prince, Mona Polacca and Byron Sanderson from the University of Arizona College of Public Health. Author David Goldman was from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which funded the study through a contract.

Relevant Links:
American Journal of Preventive Medicine - http://www.elsevier.com/locate/amepre
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism - http://www.niaaa.nih.gov

Related Stories:
Indian Country tops drug report again (9/17)
Native youth top drug use survey again (09/06)
Native youth targeted in anti-drug ads (5/17)
Native youth heaviest smokers in nation (4/3)
Report: Native youth highest drug users (10/5)
Ad campaign targets youth drug use (9/7)
Drug use high among Native youth (9/1)

Copyright 2000-2003 Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Stay Connected:

Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Wrapup from National Congress of American Indians DC meeting (2/27)
Native Sun News: Rapid City leader calls for tax on alcohol sales (2/27)
Mark Trahant: Beautiful trend emerges with power of Native vote (2/27)
Ivan Star: Lakota traditional history tells the true untold stories (2/27)
Audio: House Appropriations Committee hearing on BIA budget (2/27)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee to hold hearing on irrigation bill (2/27)
National Indian Gaming Commission choice gets another hearing (2/27)
Kevin Abourezk: Omaha language advocate passes on at age 58 (2/27)
Gyasi Ross: Yawna Allen shares her Native and African ancestry (2/27)
Frank Hopper: Alaska Native Brotherhood was about resistance (2/27)
Stanley Heller: Don't forget the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado (2/27)
Cherokee Nation chief faces at least four challengers in election (2/27)
BIA and DOJ seek to mediate Cayuga Nation leadership dispute (2/27)
Non-Indians guilty for hunting incidents on Montana reservation (2/27)
Man from Te-Moak Tribe pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter (2/27)
Administrator for Alaska tribe cuts her position out of the budget (2/27)
Opinion: Find common ground on Indian mascots in Connecticut (2/27)
Hannahville Indian Community starts $8M casino expansion work (2/27)
Wilton Rancheria still waiting for BIA movement on casino project (2/27)
Lytton Band paid $4.6M to use land as parking for Class II facility (2/27)
Opinion: Menominee Nation might turn to tokers instead of poker (2/27)
Opinion: Poarch Creeks come with slot machines and marijuana (2/27)
Updates from National Congress of American Indians meet in DC (2/26)
Native Sun News: Rosebud Sioux Tribe leader sidelined by council (2/26)
James Giago Davies: Native activism must embrace all relations (2/26)
Donna Ennis: Obama budget supports tribal self-determination (2/26)
Rich Winter: Let's keep Lakota Nation Invitational in Rapid City (2/26)
Oglala Sioux Tribe wants Lakota Nation Invitational out of Rapid (2/26)
Former Sisseton Wahpeton chairman joins marijuana company (2/26)
Hoopa Valley Tribe places marijuana referendum on April ballot (2/26)
Blog: Firm saves billions by exploiting Native 'loophole' at FCC (2/26)
Klamath Tribes aid investigation into stolen artifacts in Oregon (2/26)
Alaska Native community still waiting on funding for relocation (2/26)
Alaska Native lawmaker in hospital after emergency at capitol (2/26)
Elise Patkotak: Alaska must acknowledge high rate of violence (2/26)
Mishewal Wappo Tribe waits for decision in recognition lawsuit (2/26)
Muscogee Nation seeks 5000 workers for big casino expansion (2/26)
Little River Band expects wait for $180M off-reservation casino (2/26)
Northern Arapaho Tribe plans to open casino food court in May (2/26)
Cherokee Nation promotes citizen to manager of $80M casino (2/26)
Tribes share nearly $16M in casino revenues with New Mexico (2/26)
Connecticut tribes face threat from casinos in Massachusetts (2/26)
Updates from National Congress of American Indians meeting (2/25)
Native Sun News: Artist Del Iron Cloud wins top award at show (2/25)
Witness List: Senate Indian Affairs Committee budget hearing (2/25)
Steve Russell: Cherokees learned discrimination from colonists (2/25)
Mary Pember: Tlingit masks appraised on 'Antiques Roadshow' (2/25)
Julianne Jennings: Keep talking about race in American history (2/25)
Bill to create day to honor late Elouise Cobell stalls in Montana (2/25)
Washington tribes head to trial in dispute over fishing grounds (2/25)
Mobile dental clinic takes service to Navajo Nation communities (2/25)
Shingle Springs Band gun range draws questions from neighbors (2/25)
NCPR: St. Regis Mohawk Tribe continues land claim negotiations (2/25)
Opinion: Oklahoma attempts to rewrite role of Whites in history (2/25)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.