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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 970169, 11 pages
Research Article

Hopelessness and Excessive Drinking among Aboriginal Adolescents: The Mediating Roles of Depressive Symptoms and Drinking to Cope

1Department of Psychiatry, QEII Health Sciences Centre, Dalhousie University, 5909 Veteran's Memorial Lane, 8th floor Abbie J. Lane Memorial Building, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 2E2
2Department of Psychology, Life Sciences Centre, Dalhousie University, 1355 Oxford Street, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 4J1
3School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building, 6100 University Avenue, Suite 5010, Halifax, NS, Canada B3H 3J5

Received 31 May 2010; Accepted 7 August 2010

Academic Editor: Michael Sawyer

Copyright © 2011 Sherry H. Stewart et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Canadian Aboriginal youth show high rates of excessive drinking, hopelessness, and depressive symptoms. We propose that Aboriginal adolescents with higher levels of hopelessness are more susceptible to depressive symptoms, which in turn predispose them to drinking to cope—which ultimately puts them at risk for excessive drinking. Adolescent drinkers ( ; 52% boys; mean age years) from 10 Canadian schools completed a survey consisting of the substance use risk profile scale (hopelessness), the brief symptom inventory (depressive symptoms), the drinking motives questionnaire—revised (drinking to cope), and quantity, frequency, and binge measures of excessive drinking. Structural equation modeling demonstrated the excellent fit of a model linking hopelessness to excessive drinking indirectly via depressive symptoms and drinking to cope. Bootstrapping indicated that this indirect effect was significant. Both depressive symptoms and drinking to cope should be intervention targets to prevent/decrease excessive drinking among Aboriginal youth high in hopelessness.