Table of Contents
ISRN Addiction
Volume 2014, Article ID 437080, 9 pages
Research Article

Motherhood, Psychological Risks, and Resources in Relation to Alcohol Use Disorder: Are There Differences between Black and White Women?

1Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, Medical Box 8134, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
2Graduate Institute of Social Work, National Taiwan Normal University, Jheng-Pu Building, 5F, No. 162, Section 1, Heping East Road, Taipei City 10610, Taiwan
3George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA

Received 14 February 2014; Accepted 23 March 2014; Published 22 April 2014

Academic Editors: P. Mannelli and G. Rubio

Copyright © 2014 Sundari Balan 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.


Rates of alcohol use disorders (AUD) are generally low among women who have ever had children (mothers) compared to women who have never had children (nonmothers), presenting a motherhood advantage. It is unclear if this advantage accrues to “Black” and “White” women alike. Using National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) wave 2 cross-sectional data that is rich in alcohol use and psychological measures, we examined the following: (a) if motherhood is protective for past-year AUD among Black ( ) and White women ( ); (b) potential explanatory psychological mechanisms; and (c) the role of race. Prevalence of a past-year DSM-IV AUD was lower among White mothers compared to White nonmothers, but this same advantage was not observed for Black women. Perceived stress was a risk for all women, but race-ethnic segregated social networks and perceived discrimination predicted current AUD for Black mothers. Unlike White mothers, current psychological factors but not family history of alcohol problems predicted AUD for Black mothers. Future prospective studies should address the mechanisms by which race, motherhood, and psychological factors interactively affect AUD in women.