indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
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...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Lakota War Path team wins world relay title (7/22)
Raina Thiele: Native youth participate in My Brother's Keeper (7/22)
Senate Committee on Indian Affairs looks into tribal gaming (7/22)
NIGC reports 'stable' growth in $28B tribal gaming industry (7/22)
Gyasi Ross: Indigenous children at border need to be heard (7/22)
Mark Rogers: Reality of being an invisible Indian in New York (7/22)
Center: Report outlines harmful effects of 'Indian' mascots (7/22)
Coeur d'Alene Tribe axes Ted Nugent at casino over racism (7/22)
Tim Giago: Treat alcoholism and drug addictions as diseases (7/21)
Charles Trimble: No longer a Wannabee with Oglala tribal ID (7/21)
Doug George-Kanentiio: Mohawk Nation endures 800+ years (7/21)
Native Sun News: Tribes seek final judgment in ICWA dispute (7/21)
Native Sun News: Paper takes home awards at NAJA meeting (7/21)
Travis Armstrong: Newspaper unfairly targets Morongo Band (7/21)
James Rawlings: Connecticut tries to deny tribal recognition (7/21)
Ryan Bellerose: Indigenous people win with truth on our side (7/21)
Opinion: Warfare caused genocide among New England tribes (7/21)
Editorial: A landmark decision for tribal sovereignty in Alaska (7/21)
Al Jazeera: Advocates seek inclusion of Alaska tribes in VAWA (7/21)
Teens accused of killing homeless Navajo men in New Mexico (7/21)
Shoni Schimmel earns most valuable player at WNBA All-Stars (7/21)
Daily Beast: Native lacrosse players encounter racism on field (7/21)
James Garner, actor with Cherokee heritage, passes on at 86 (7/21)
More people turn in human remains to Washington authorities (7/21)
Lytton Band donates $1M to bolster land-into-trust application (7/21)
Unsettled Ch. 23: Passamaquoddy leader indicted for stealing (7/21)
Man awaits trial for slaying of Chitimacha Tribe's police officer (7/21)
Editorial: No rubes at Quechan Nation in saying no to NFL team (7/21)
Wyandotte Nation agrees with dismissal of casino site lawsuit (7/21)
Catawba Nation reports strong opening weekend at bingo hall (7/21)
Chief of Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe wary of $500M casino bid (7/21)
Editorial: Meskwaki Tribe should compromise on racetrack site (7/21)
Editorial: Florida should take lesson from Atlantic City casinos (7/21)
Native Sun News: North Dakota tribe contains spill at pipeline (7/18)
Richard Littlebear: Montana takes the lead in Indian education (7/18)
President of Oglala Sioux Tribe survives impeachment attempt (7/18)
Senate candidate backs holocaust memorial at Wounded Knee (7/18)
Alaska Supreme Court sides with tribe in child welfare dispute (7/18)
A Tribe Called Red breaks ties with founding member DJ Shub (7/18)
New Mexico governor hosts annual meeting with tribal leaders (7/18)
Case in Point: Citizen Potawatomi Nation creates an economy (7/18)
Law Article: Risk of double taxation under new BIA regulation (7/18)
Unsettled Ch. 20: Passamaquoddy Tribe still lacks constitution (7/18)
Opinion: Bishop helped save lives of Sioux men after 1862 war (7/18)
Gregory Mendoza: Tohono O'odham Nation misleads on casino (7/18)
Cherokee Nation builds 8th gaming facility on Indian allotment (7/18)
Catawba Nation ready to welcome customers to bingo facility (7/18)
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.