Social Relationships, Social Assimilation, and Substance-Use Disorders among Adult Latinos in the U.S.

Behavioral Sciences Research Institute and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Puerto Rico.
Journal of drug issues (Impact Factor: 0.38). 12/2008; 38(1):69-101. DOI: 10.1177/002204260803800104
Source: PubMed


Based on social control perspectives and results from prior studies we test hypotheses about the extent to which characteristics of family and social networks are associated with substance use disorders (SUD), and whether these associations vary by sex. In this study SUD is alcohol or illicit drug abuse or dependence as defined by criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. With nationally representative data of adult Latinos from the National Latino and Asian American Survey (NLAAS), we found that respondents' language use with family, rather than language proficiency, appears to be a more efficient proxy for social assimilation to represent differential levels of risk of SUD. SUD was positively associated with problematic family relations for men but not women, and SUD was positively associated with more frequent interactions with friends for women but not men. The results suggest that the salient features of social assimilation associated with SUD include the context of language use and transformations in family and social network relationships that differ in important ways between Latino men and women.

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    • "Moreover, family conflict has been associated with increased depressive symptoms among Latino youth (Gonzales et al. 2006; Lorenzo-Blanco et al. 2012b) and adults (Lorenzo- Blanco and Cortina 2013). Although researchers do not consistently report a direct positive relationship between family conflict and cigarette smoking among Latino youth and adults (Lorenzo-Blanco et al. 2013; Lorenzo-Blanco and Cortina 2013), family conflict has been associated with more substance use in Latino adults (Canino et al. 2008), suggesting that family conflict may constitute a significant risk factor for depressive symptoms and cigarette smoking. "
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    ABSTRACT: Latino youth can experience a range of cultural (i.e., ethnic discrimination and acculturative stress) and familial (i.e. family conflict) risk factors that can contribute to their perceived stress, thereby increasing their risk for depressive symptoms and cigarette smoking. To understand the mechanisms by which ethnic discrimination, acculturative stress and family conflict influence the risk for depressive symptoms and cigarette smoking of youth, the current study investigated the mediating role of perceived stress in these associations. The data came from a longitudinal study of acculturation and substance use with 1919 Latino adolescents (52 % female; 84 % 14 year-olds; 87 % U.S. born). Structural equation modeling indicated that discrimination and family conflict (Time 1) related with higher perceived stress (Time 2), which, in turn, related with more depressive symptoms and smoking (Time 3). The results suggest that perceived stress might be one mechanism by which ethnic discrimination and family conflict contribute to Latino youth symptoms of depression and cigarette smoking. The findings highlight the need for prevention and intervention strategies that help youth manage their general perceived stress and/or focus on stress reduction techniques.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of Youth and Adolescence
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    • "Worldwide, it has been extensively documented that alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders (AUD) are more common in males as compared to females [1–6]. The reason of this male-female difference is both biological and sociocultural. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background. It has been widely documented that males were more likely to drinking alcohol and have alcohol use disorders (AUD). The degrees of the male-female differences in drinking and AUD have varied across countries. The reasons behind these variations have not been fully understood. The current study compared the estimated male-female differences across US-born and foreign-born Latino and Asian Americans with respect to alcohol drinking behavior and AUD. Method. Data come from the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS), a national household survey of adults with Latinos and Asian decent in the United States. Male-female differences were estimated for drinking behavior and AUD among drinkers for US-born and foreign-born individuals, respectively. Zero-inflated Poisson regressions were utilized to estimate male-female differences in the number of AUD clinical features once it occurs. Results. Larger male-female differences were found for foreign-born individuals as compared to US-born individuals, especially the occurrence of AUD among drinkers. Once AUD clinical feature occurs, there was no male-female difference for foreign-born individuals, while there was a males excess in the number of clinical features for US-born individuals. Conclusion. Results from this study supports the importance of sociocultural influence in drinking and AUD. Implications for prevention and intervention programs were discussed.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013
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    • "Our findings may contribute to previous knowledge by providing a multidimensional view of the construct of acculturation on the risk of DUD. They also complement prior findings indicating that measures that are easy to assess (e.g., nativity), can provide a useful summary measure of acculturation in cases when a multidimensional assessment may not be feasible or appropriate (Canino et al., 2008). A second important methodological implication of our results is the need to examine whether these findings extend to other racial and ethnic groups. "
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    ABSTRACT: The authors' objective was to examine the relationship between degree of acculturation across five different dimensions of acculturation and risk of drug use disorders (DUD) among US Hispanics. Data were derived from a large national sample of the US adult population, the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, collected using face-to-face interviews. The sample included civilian non-institutionalized U.S. population aged 18 years and older, with oversampling of Hispanics, Blacks and those aged 18-24 years. Interviews of more than 34,000 adults were conducted during 2004-2005 using the Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule - DSM-IV Version. A total of 6359 subjects who identified themselves as Hispanics were included in this study. Acculturation measures used in this study assessed:, time spent in the U.S., age at immigration, language preference, social network composition, and ethnic identification. Among Hispanics, there was an inverse relationship between five complementary dimensions of acculturation and DUD. Moreover, this relationship showed a significant gradient across all acculturation dimensions and DUD. The prevalence of DUD increases with acculturation in Hispanics, across several measures of acculturation in a dose-response relationship. Hispanic cultural features and values exert a protective effect on risk of DUD. Preservation and promotion of Hispanic values may be an important component of preventive interventions for Hispanics.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of Psychiatric Research
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