Driving after drinking among young adults of different race/ethnicities in the united states: Unique risk factors in early adolescence?

Chris Delcher, Rachel Johnson, Mildred M. Maldonado-Molina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose: National guidelines for alcohol screening and brief interventions advise practitioners to consider age, drinking frequency, and context to identify at-risk youth. The purpose of this study was to identify the contextual risk and protective factors in high school-aged adolescents associated with future driving after drinking (Drinking Under the Influence [DUI] at age 21) by race/ethnicity. Methods: Data included 10,271 adolescents (67% white, 12% Hispanic, 16% black, 3.6% Asian; 49% Male) who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Waves I, II, and III) from 1995 to 2001. A lagged panel design and survey logistic regression was used to examine the association between multiple contextual factors (e.g., demographics, parents, peers, social context) during adolescence and self-reported DUI in young adulthood. Results: As expected, the likelihood of DUI was higher among whites followed by Hispanics, Asians, and blacks in all models. Perception of easy home access to alcohol increased risk for future DUI for whites (OR: 1.25 CI: 1.04-1.49), Hispanics (OR: 2.02 CI: 1.29-3.16), and Asians (OR: 1.90 CI: 1.13-3.22), but not for black youth. Drinking frequency and prior DUI were not risk factors for Hispanics. Risk-taking attitudes, marijuana use, and religious affiliation were risk factors for whites only. Conclusions: Findings suggest that in addition to screening for drinking behaviors, brief interventions and prevention efforts should assess perceived home access to alcohol and other race-specific factors to reduce alcohol-related injuries and harm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-591
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by K01 AA017480 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health. An earlier version of the current study was presented as a poster at the Society for Pediatric Research, Boston (April 2012).

Funding Information:
This research uses data from Add Health, a program project directed by Kathleen Mullan Harris and designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and funded by grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development , with cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations. Special acknowledgment is due Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Information on how to obtain the Add Health data files is available on the Add Health website ( http://www.cpc.unc.edu/addhealth ). No direct support was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis.


  • Alcohol
  • Drunk driving
  • Home access
  • Race/ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Driving after drinking among young adults of different race/ethnicities in the united states: Unique risk factors in early adolescence?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this