Marta Kang, Fielding's School of Psychology
This study investigated the association of stigma and alcohol use after taking into account the mediating effect of stress in Mexican American sex offenders (n = 84). A quantitative method was employed, with mediation analyses performed using anonymous survey data. Data were gathered on alcohol use via the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), stigma using the Stigmatization Scale (SS), and stress using the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). Results indicated that there was no significant relationship between stigma and alcohol use as mediated by stress. However, an exploratory analysis indicated that the use of alcohol significantly increased after the sex offense conviction in comparison with the use of alcohol before the sex offense conviction. In conclusion, this study demonstrated the collateral consequences of the sex offender label and the effect it has on alcohol use among Mexican American sex offenders. Additionally, recommendations were made for further research to be conducted in order to enhance awareness and understanding of alcohol use patterns among this and related groups.