Substance Use Among Sexual Minority Collegiate Athletes: A National Study
Background: The empirical research examining substance use among sexual minority collegiate athletes is sparse. Problematically, this group may be at a greater risk of substance use due to their marginalized status within the context of sport. Objectives: We examined different types of substance use during the past 30 days, and diagnosis of substance use disorders during the past 12 months, among sexual minority collegiate athletes. Methods: This study uses data from college students for the fall semester between 2008 and 2012 from the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment. Results: Sexual minority collegiate athletes had greater odds of past 30-day cigarette use, past 30-day alcohol use, past 30-day marijuana use, and indicating being diagnosed or treated for a substance use disorder during the past 12 months when compared to either heterosexual collegiate athletes or heterosexual nonathletes, but had similar odds on these outcomes when compared to sexual minority nonathletes. Sexual minority collegiate athletes also had greater odds of binge drinking during the past 2 weeks when compared to either heterosexual nonathletes or sexual minority nonathletes, but had similar odds on this outcome when compared to heterosexual collegiate athletes. Additional analyses by gender reveal that male sexual minority athletes are at the greatest risk of being diagnosed or treated for a substance use disorder. Conclusions: Possible explanations as to why sexual minority collegiate athletes (particularly males) may be at a greater risk of substance use disorders could include the difficulty of trying to maintain an athletic identity within a social environment that is traditionally homophobic.
Substance Use & Misuse
Veliz, P., Epstein-Ngo, Q., Zdroik, J., Boyd, C., & McCabe, S. (2016). Substance use among sexual minority collegiate athletes: A national study. Substance use & misuse, 51(4), 517-532. https://doi.org/10.3109/10826084.2015.1126741
Publisher's Copyright and Source
Copyright © 2016 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.