Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-14-2017


Although American Indian (AI) ethnic/racial identity and lack of social support have been linked with alcohol use problems in AI populations, little research has examined the impact of socioeconomic status, or the protective benefits of high ethnic identity with strong social connection in AI samples. This study developed and investigated a latent construct labeled community well-being (CWB) and tested it as a predictor of scores on the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) in a sample of non-Hispanic White (NHW) and AI college students with consideration of self-reported childhood social class (birth to 18). Using structural equation modeling (SEM) this study tested the hypothesis that CWB and AUDIT scores would be negatively associated among both AI and NHW college students. We further hypothesized that among AI college students the relationship between CWB and AUDIT scores would be moderated by level of cultural identity. Secondary data analysis with NHW and AI college students (N=254) to examine a community well-being measurement model and the relationships among CWB and AUDIT scores with consideration of ethnicity and childhood social class. Finally, this study investigated the moderating effects of cultural identity on the relationship between CWB and AUDIT scores in AI college students. Findings indicate increased CWB is associated with lower AUDIT scores for both NHW and AI college students. Lower levels of childhood social class have a strengthening effect on the negative association between CWB and AUDIT scores. Additionally, behavioral cultural identity was a near significant (p=.05) moderator of the relationship between CWB and AUDIT scores for the AI sample.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


First Committee Member (Chair)

Kamilla Venner

Second Committee Member

Steven Verney

Third Committee Member

Katie Witkiewitz




AUDIT, community, social class, American Indian, college students, culture

Document Type


Included in

Psychology Commons