Alcohol use and coping in a cross-sectional study of African American homicide survivors


The loss of a loved one to homicide is associated with considerable distress, often in the form of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complicated grief (CG), and alcohol misuse. Yet alcohol-related problems and loss from a homicide are issues that disproportionally affect African Americans. The present study investigated alcohol use in a sample of 54 African American homicide survivors. Although there was a low prevalence of hazardous drinking, alcohol use was associated with higher levels of PTSD, complicated grief, and depression severity. In addition, scores on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) were correlated with active emotional coping and avoidant emotional coping. In analyses of PTSD symptom clusters, emotional numbing and hyperarousal symptoms were significantly correlated with AUDIT total score.

Publication Title

Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse