Changes in reported alcohol use from 1 year prior to the WTCD, to 2 years post-WTCD, revealed small and statistically nonsignificant, increases in pathological drinking behavior as measured by binge drinking and alcohol dependence (). About 14% of the sample reported drinking 6 or more alcoholic beverages in one occasion at least once a month before the WTCD. That percentage increased slightly to 16% 1 year post-WTCD and decreased slightly to 15% 2 years post-disaster. The percentage of respondents meeting criteria for alcohol dependence ranged between 1.6% and 2.8%. However, our results also show that there was a statistically significant increase in the amount of alcohol consumed during this period. Approximately, 12% of New Yorkers reported an increase of two or more drinks per day between W1 and W2. In addition, the mean number of drinks per month and drinks per day when drank both exhibited a significant increase post-WTCD and between W1 and W2.
Alcohol use pre-WTCD, 1 year post-WTCD, and 2 years post-WTCD (N = 1681)a
Examination of our OLS model predicting drinks per month at W1 (i.e., year 1) (, column 2), suggests that college graduates, men, the unmarried, Whites, higher income persons, individuals with greater exposure to WTCD events, those who had a history of antisocial behavior, and persons with higher social support consumed more alcohol per month, compared to the less educated, women, non-Whites, lower income persons, those experiencing fewer WTCD events, individuals who were more socially conforming, and those with lower social support. The W2 drinks per month analyses (i.e., year 2) (, column 3) showed similar results. That is, the more educated, males, Whites, those exposed to greater WTCD events, and persons with a history of antisocial behavior, had more drinks per month 2 years after the terrorist attacks, than those less educated, females, non-Whites, and those less exposed to WTCD events.
Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regressions predicting the number of drinks per month/per day (N = 1681)
Regression results for W1 drinks per day (, column 4) suggested, again, that lower alcohol consumption was related to being female, being African American or other/no race, having experienced few WTCD events, reporting no antisocial behavior history, and having low social support. The model for W2 drinks per day (, column 5) had only three statistically significant associations: age, gender, and race. More specifically, older respondents, females, and those categorized as other/no racial group drank less than younger, male, or White respondents. Interestingly, none of the stress, risk, or social resource independent variables were statistically significant for W2 drinks per day.
For our model predicting W1 binge drinking (, column 3), younger persons, males, those with greater exposure to WTCD events, and those with a history of antisocial behavior, were more likely to be binge drinkers. These results were consistent for W2 binge drinking as well (). Specifically, younger respondents, males, Latinos, those with a history of antisocial behavior, and those with lower self-esteem were more likely to meet the criteria for binge drinking, compared to their older, non-Latino, non-anti-social, and higher self-esteem counterparts.
Logistic regression coefficients for binge drinking, alcohol dependence, and increased drinks per day (N = 1681)a
Analyses examining alcohol dependence between the WTCD and the W2 survey () indicated that the educated, males, Latinos, those exposed to more WTCD events, and those with high social support were more likely to meet criteria than respondents who were less educated, female, non-Latino, less exposed to the WTCD, and more isolated. Those who experienced an increase of 2 or more drinks per day in their alcohol consumption between the W1 and W2 surveys were more likely to be younger, male, and Latino compared to older, female, and non-Latino respondents.