Alcohol Use Among Off-Reserve Canadian Aboriginal Adolescents: Prevalence and Association With Cultural Participation
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A limited body of research suggests that cultural participation may protect Aboriginal adolescents against alcohol use. Therefore, this thesis examined the relationship between cultural participation, including Aboriginal language knowledge and participation in extracurricular cultural activities, and three alcohol use outcomes 12-month alcohol use, heavy episodic drinking (HED), and weekly alcohol use, among off-reserve Aboriginal adolescents. The 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Survey, a national cross-sectional survey of off-reserve Aboriginal identity individuals aged six years and older, was used. The analysis was restricted to adolescents aged 15 through 18 years with non-proxy interviews. Overall, 64.0 percent reported using alcohol in the past year, 22.4 percent participated in HED, and 10.9 percent used alcohol weekly. Aboriginal language knowledge was inversely associated with all outcomes, while participating in extracurricular cultural activities was negatively associated with 12-month alcohol use. Programs that promote Aboriginal languages and culture may be successful in reducing alcohol use among Aboriginal youth.