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J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2010 Mar;71(2):231-6.

Examining perceived alcoholism stigma effect on racial-ethnic disparities in treatment and quality of life among alcoholics.

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  • 1Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biometry, Division of Intramural Clinical and Biological Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9304, USA.



The aim of this study was to examine racial-ethnic differences in perceived stigmatization of former alcoholics and their effect on associations of race-ethnicity with treatment history and psychological function among lifetime alcoholics.


Logistic regression analyses were conducted using data from Waves 1 and 2 of the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults 18 years or older.


Stigma scores were lowest for Whites and Native Americans, higher for Blacks, and highest for Asians and Hispanics, both in the total population and among lifetime alcoholics. Neither race-ethnicity nor stigma was associated with treatment utilization. Psychological function was negatively associated with stigma, but the impact of stigma on racial-ethnic differences in psychological function fell short of statistical significance.


Stigma may reduce quality of life among those with alcohol dependence, but there is no clear evidence that it affects racial-ethnic differences in quality of life.

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