The influence of sociodemographic characteristics on familial alcohol problems: data from a community sample

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1990 Apr;14(2):221-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1990.tb00476.x.


The moderating influence of race (black versus white), age, sex, and socioeconomic status on the relationship between alcohol abuse/dependence in offspring and a family history of alcoholism/problem drinking was investigated in a representative general population sample (N = 1659). Significant family history by race by age and family history by race by sex interactions were observed when predicting lifetime risk of alcohol abuse/dependence in offspring. Socioeconomic status did not moderate the effect of familial alcoholism/problem drinking on offspring alcohol abuse/dependence. Relative odds ratios indicated that the risk of alcohol abuse/dependence associated with a positive family history increased with increasing age among whites; whereas, it decreased with increasing age among blacks. Among whites, the relative odds ratio for the effect of family history was higher for females than for males; however, among blacks it was higher for males than females. Although these findings need to be replicated in other populations, they suggest that it is important to take race, age, and sex into consideration when investigating familial alcohol problems.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Alcoholism / genetics*
  • Alcoholism / psychology
  • Black People / genetics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New York
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors*