Although perceived discrimination in Black youth is a risk factor for a wide range of negative mental health outcomes, recent research has suggested some gender differences in these associations. Gender differences in vulnerability to perceived discrimination among Caribbean Black youth is, however, still unknown. The current cross-sectional study investigated gender variations in the association between perceived discrimination and substance use (SU) in a national sample of Caribbean Black youth. Data came from the National Survey of American Life-Adolescents (NSAL-A), 2003–2004. This analysis included 360 Caribbean Black youth (165 males and 195 females) who were between 13 and 17 years old. Sociodemographic factors, perceived discrimination, and SU were measured. Logistic regressions were used for data analysis. Among Caribbean Black youth, a positive association was found between perceived discrimination and SU (odds ratio (OR) = 1.15 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.02–1.29)). A significant interaction was found between gender and perceived discrimination on smoking (OR = 1.23 (95% CI = 1.07–1.41)) suggesting that the association between perceived discrimination and smoking is larger for male than female Caribbean Black youth. The interaction between gender and perceived discrimination on SU was not statistically significant (OR = 1.32 (95% CI = 0.94–1.86)). While perceived discrimination increases SU in Caribbean Black youth, this effect is stronger for males than females, especially for smoking. While discrimination should be reduced at all levels and for all populations, clinicians may specifically address discrimination for SU prevention and treatment among male Caribbean Black youth.
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