Principal Investigator: Roland S. Moore
Sponsor: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
(9/21/1998 - 8/31/2004) Proposal Abstract
This study was designed to document the current state of beliefs, knowledge, and behavior surrounding alcohol use among young adults from a large reservation in the Southwestern United States. Building upon the literature on drinking among American Indian populations and the P.Is experience researching alcohol and occupations, the study explicated normative understanding of alcohol, patterns of drinking, and employment among members of the tribe who are between 21 and 24 years of age. Moreover, this study aimed to assess relationships between (a) drinking patterns (b) beliefs and knowledge about alcohol, and experience with employment and unemployment among these Native American young adults. The research design consisted of a longitudinal five-year ethnographic study using the classical anthropological methods of naturalistic observations and semi-structured interviews. The ethnographic interview sample consisted of 75 young adults from a reservation community. Participant observation, guided in part by the interview findings, will take place in and around the community in settings frequented by young adults. These observational settings will include sites where drinking occurs as well as those where drinking is discouraged.
The study focused on the young adult portion of the lifespan because it represents a section of the population which is at greatest risk for heavy binge drinking and which experiences a disproportionate number of such problem indicators as DUIs and arrests for violent behavior. This studys findings should produce an updated understanding of this tribe's young adult drinking norms, a necessary precursor for large-scale research efforts with relevance to this population. Accordingly, the study should shed light on an onerous problem faced not only by this tribe, but other American Indian groups as well.