Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Addiction. 2014 Jul;109(7):1072-80. doi: 10.1111/add.12528. Epub 2014 Apr 18.

Sexual orientation and alcohol problem use among U.K. adolescents: an indirect link through depressed mood.

Author information

1
Institute of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

Sexual minority adolescents are more likely to engage in alcohol use than their heterosexual counterparts; however, the underlying reasons remain unclear and longitudinal research is limited. Owing to evidence that this group also experiences greater depressive symptoms than their peers, we aimed to (i) assess to what extent depressed mood explains the increased likelihood of engaging in alcohol use among sexual minority adolescents, and (ii) explore potential gender-specific patterns.

DESIGN:

Structural equation modelling was used to test the indirect relationship between sexual orientation and alcohol use through depressed mood, with heterosexuals as the reference group.

SETTINGS AND PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 3710 adolescents (12% sexual minority), from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) study, assessed between the ages of 15 and 18 years.

MEASUREMENTS:

Sexual orientation was assessed at age 15, while alcohol use was measured using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) at age 18. Depressed mood was indexed by the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ) at age 16.

FINDINGS:

Sexual minority adolescents were more likely to engage in alcohol problem use compared to their heterosexual counterparts [Btotal  = 0.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.04-0.20, P = 0.003]. Depressed mood explained 21% of the link between sexual orientation and alcohol use after adjustment for covariates and earlier measures (Z = 3.2, P = 0.001). No gender differences were observed.

CONCLUSIONS:

A higher prevalence of alcohol problem use in adolescents who are gay, lesbian or bisexual is partly explained by increased rates of depression in this group.

KEYWORDS:

ALSPAC; Adolescence; alcohol problem use; depressed mood; longitudinal; prospective birth cohort study; sexual minority; sexual orientation

PMID:
24612217
DOI:
10.1111/add.12528
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center