Adolescent substance use at the intersections of foster care, sexual orientation and gender identity, racial/ethnic identity, and sex assigned at birth

Amy L. McCurdy, Amy L. Gower, G. Nic Rider, De'Shay S. Thomas, Ryan J. Watson, Marla E. Eisenberg, Stephen T. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth are overrepresented in foster care and report greater substance use during adolescence. Objective: Using an intersectional lens, the current study investigates differences in foster care placement and variation in substance use at the intersections of foster care and sexual orientation, gender identity, racial/ethnic identities, and sex assigned at birth. Participants and settings: A sample of 121,910 LGBTQ youth (grades 6–12) completed either the Minnesota Student Survey in 2019, the California Healthy Kids Survey from 2017 to 2019, or the 2017 LGBTQ National Teen Study. Methods: Youth reported their substance use in the past 30 days (alcohol, binge drinking, cigarette, marijuana), social positions (sexual orientation, gender identity, racial/ethnic identities, sex assigned at birth), living arrangement (foster care or not), and grade in school. Logistic regression was used to examine the main and interaction effects of foster care and social positions on youth substance use. Results: Results indicated significant differences in substance use at the intersection of foster care placement and youth social positions. Significant two-way interactions for foster care placement and social positions emerged predicting alcohol, binge drinking, and marijuana use. Conclusions: Findings show that LGBTQ youth in foster care are at higher risk for substance use than those not in foster care. Particular support is needed for lesbian, gay, and questioning youth, transgender youth, LGBTQ youth assigned male at birth, and Asian or Pacific Islander LGBTQ youth in foster care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106042
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Volume137
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01MD015722, and NIDA under Award Number K01DA047918. This work was also supported by grant, P2CHD042849 awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Sponsors had no role in the study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing of the report; or decision to submit the manuscript for publication. The authors acknowledge generous support for Dr. Russell from the Priscilla Pond Flawn Endowment at the University of Texas at Austin.

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01MD015722 , and NIDA under Award Number K01DA047918 . This work was also supported by grant, P2CHD042849 awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Sponsors had no role in the study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing of the report; or decision to submit the manuscript for publication. The authors acknowledge generous support for Dr. Russell from the Priscilla Pond Flawn Endowment at the University of Texas at Austin.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Foster care
  • Gender identity
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Sexual orientation
  • Substance use

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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