Is There a Relationship Between Impulsiveness, Risk Perception, Alcohol Problems, Race/Ethnicity, and Alcohol-Related Injury Type?

Cara Hamann B. S., University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth


This cross-sectional study examined the associations between impulsiveness, risk perception, alcohol problems, race/ethnicity and alcohol-related intentional injury of 1504 White, Black, and Hispanic trauma patients from the emergency department at a Level 1 Trauma center in Dallas, Texas. After controlling for race/ethnicity, age, gender, education, marital status, drug use, and annual frequency of heavy drinking, injury-related alcohol problems within the past 12 months (OR= 1.10, 95% CI 1.02-1.18) had a moderate effect on intentional injury. Impulsiveness (total score, motor, and non-planning) and alcohol problems (total score, physical, interpersonal, social responsibility, and injury) had moderate effects on intentional injury in univariate analyses, but these effects became null in multivariate analyses. Race/ethnicity had a large effect on injury type in all models considered in the study, with Blacks (estimated ORs ranged from 3.06 to 3.54, 95% CIs ranged from 2.08 to 5.18) and Hispanics (estimated ORs ranged from 2.29 to 2.47, 95% CIs ranged from 1.61 to 3.52) having greater odds of intentional in jury in comparison to Whites in univariate and multivariate analyses. Overall, race/ethnicity and injury-related alcohol problems were the only variable of interest that showed effects on intentional injury. Lack of significant results may be partially explained the use of ICD-9 codes to categorize injury type. Future studies should address limitations and alternatives of using ICD-9 codes to evaluate psychological and behavioral factors.