NRSA Fellowship Nichea Spillane: Risk Factors for Alcohol Dependence in Native Americans

Grants and Contracts Details


The goal of the proposed program of research is to begin testing a more complete model of Native American (NA) drinking. The first part of the model adapts drinking behavioral choice theory to help explain high mean NA drinking levels. Standard Life Reinforcers (SLRs) are a basic set of rewarding experiences or consequences that individuals strive for, such as housing, economic security, work opportunity, family closeness, and knowledge. Some NAs experience less access to some SLRs, less loss of other SLRs from drinking, and less contingency between drinking and access to yet other SLRs. As a result, they experience fewer incentives to avoid heavy drinking, and hence they drink more heavily. The second part of the model applies acquired preparedness theory to explain individual differences in drinking levels among NAs. This model incorporates both personality and psychosocial learning. It proposes that disinhibition/impulsivity operates as a general, distal risk factor for a range of acting out behaviors. Impulsivity is likely to lead to problem drinking when one also acquires a proximal risk factor, Le., expectancies for reinforcement from drinking. The overall model addresses both group and individual difference factors.
Effective start/end date8/1/047/31/05


  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: $29,336.00


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