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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2006;32(4):561-8.

Variations in drinking patterns in the rural South: joint effects of race, gender, and rural residence.

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  • 1Division of Health Services Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.



To understand the relative contribution of gender, race (African-American vs. Caucasian), and rural residence on variations in drinking patterns, including past year abstinence, at-risk drinking, and recent drinking quantity and frequency for drinkers only.


A brief health survey was administered by telephone to a probability sample of 11,529 residents of six southern states, over-sampling rural inhabitants.


Drinking patterns varied by gender, race, and rural residence in bivariate analysis. Gender effects were independent of rural residence, but race effects on abstinence and at-risk drinking were found only in urban residents and race differences in drinking quantity only in rural residents. Multivariate analysis, controlling for age and education, found gender and rural residence to be the strongest predictors, as well as being an African-American female.


Female gender, African-American race, and rural residence appear protective for at-risk drinking but rural residence dominates racial differences.

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