Ethnic identity and substance use in multiracial youth: the moderating role of support networks

Sycarah Fisher, Lorey A. Wheeler, Prerna G. Arora, Joshua Chaudry, Jessica Barnes-Najor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Substance use in multiracial adolescents exceeds rates identified in the general population. Despite this fact, there is limited research examining risk and protective factors for multiracial substance use. Objectives: The current study examined the moderating effect of social support on the relationship between ethnic identity and substance use in a sample of multiracial adolescent youth. Methods: Multiracial youth (N = 523) completed a survey that asked questions related to their ethnic identity, perceived social support, and substance use. A series of path analyses were conducted to test the hypothesized relationships between ethnic identity, social support, and substance use. Results: Analyses indicated that ethnic affirmation was negatively related to frequency of, but not quantity of substance use. Teacher support was negatively related to both frequency and quantity of substance use, while parent support was only related to frequency. Further, teacher and parent support emerged as moderators of ethnic affirmation and frequency and quantity of substance use respectively. Conclusions/Importance: Our findings add to the current understandings of the relationship between ethnic identity, social support, ethnic identity, and substance use among the understudied multiracial adolescent population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1417-1428
Number of pages12
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 29 2019



  • Multiracial
  • ethnic identity
  • substance use
  • support networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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