Examining the Associations Between Experiences of Perceived Racism and Drug and Alcohol Use in Aboriginal Australians

Victoria Ashlee Gentile, Adrian Carter, Laura Jobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


This study aimed to explore the relationships between experiences of perceived racism, mental health and drug and alcohol use among Aboriginal Australians.
Sixty-two Aboriginal Australians, ranging in age from 19-64 years (Mage = 33.71, SD = 12.47) and residing in Victoria completed an online questionnaire containing measures of perceived racism, alcohol use, substance use and mental health.
First, 66% of the sample reported experiencing interpersonal racism, with the highest proportion of reported experiences occurring in health settings, educational/academic settings and by staff of government agencies. Second, perceived racism was significantly associated with poorer mental health and well-being. Finally, while perceived racism was not significantly associated with substance use, there was an indirect pathway from perceived racism to substance use through mental health concerns.
The current research indicates that racism is still frequently experienced by Aboriginal Australians and is directly associated with poorer mental health, and indirectly with substance use through poorer mental health. The findings demonstrate a clear need for further research in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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