The Influence of Distressed Coping on the Relationship between Perceived Racial Discrimination and Cannabis Use among Black College Students

Danni Lanaway, A. Kathleen Burlew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Approximately one in five Black students report cannabis use, which is associated with academic challenges, mental health, and interpersonal problems. Understanding motivators to use cannabis among Black students at predominantly White institutions (PWIs) warrants more research. Perceived racial discrimination (PRD), believing one is treated unjustly due to race, is related to substance use and variables associated with poor coping, such as depression and anxiety. Given that research is unavailable for Black college students on the factor structure of the Everyday Discrimination Scale (EDS) using chronicity-based coding, the first aim of the study is to examine the factor structure of the chronicity-based version of the EDS. The second aim is to investigate whether distressed coping is an intervening construct between PRD and cannabis use among Black college students. Participants, recruited from a midwestern PWI (N = 119), completed the EDS, the coping subscale of the Comprehensive Marijuana Motivations Measure, and reported past-year cannabis use. Factor analysis examined the measurement model of the EDS, while path analysis assessed the mediation models. A two-factor model assessing subtle and blatant PRD on the EDS fit the data. The path analysis revealed that distressed coping fully mediated the relationship between subtle PRD and cannabis use. Distressed coping did not mediate the relation between blatant PRD and cannabis use. Institutions might focus on reducing PRD and provide support to Black students to lessen its link to distressed coping and cannabis use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • black college students
  • Cannabis use
  • coping motivations
  • distressed coping
  • racial discrimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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