• First Nations People;
  • Problem Drinking;
  • Personality;
  • Alcohol Expectancies

Background:  Health disparities related to drinking in native communities are of concern. Although individuals living in native communities have high rates of problem drinking, there is also variability in their drinking levels. The authors conducted a test of a model of First Nation drinking risk that incorporates personality and psychosocial learning to examine its cross-cultural applicability. That model identifies a risk process thought to explain aspects of individual differences in both native problem drinking and non-native problem drinking. One implication of the theory is that positive alcohol expectancies mediate the influence of negative urgency (the tendency to act rashly when distressed) on problem drinking similarly for both cultures.

Methods:  We administered questionnaires to a total of 211 First Nation people and 236 Caucasians.

Results:  A structural modeling analysis of 211 First Nation people and 236 Caucasian people found that (i) personality, alcohol expectancy, and problem drinking measures were invariant across the 2 cultures and (ii) results consistent with the hypothesis that positive alcohol expectancies mediated the influence of negative urgency on problem drinking were also invariant across culture.

Conclusions:  The findings support the theory that personality traits and psychosocial learning are important determinants of problem drinking in First Nation people and Caucasians.