The current study examined self-worth and body size dissatisfaction, and their association with maternal acculturation among obese Latino youth enrolled in a community-based obesity intervention program. Upon entry to the program, a sample of 113 participants reported global self-worth comparable to general population norms, but lower athletic competence and perception of physical appearance. Interestingly, body size dissatisfaction was more prevalent among younger respondents. Youth body size dissatisfaction was associated with less acculturated mothers and higher maternal dissatisfaction with their child's body size. By contrast, although global self-worth was significantly related to body dissatisfaction, it was not influenced by mothers’ acculturation or dissatisfaction with their own or their child’s body size. Obesity intervention programs targeted to Latino youth need to address self-worth concerns among the youth as well as addressing maternal dissatisfaction with their children’s body size.
self-worth; body size dissatisfaction; acculturation; obese Latino youth
This article examined the impact of linguistic acculturation and gender on the substance use initiation of a sample of 1,473 Mexican heritage preadolescents attending 30 public schools in Phoenix, Arizona. It was hypothesized that linguistic acculturation operates differently as a risk or protective factor for young children than for older youth. The study used discrete-time event history methods to model the rate at which nonusing children initiate substance use. Alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and inhalants were studied separately while inhalant use was examined more closely. Results suggested that while linguistic acculturation is a risk factor for Mexican heritage preadolescents, this association depended on gender, the linguistic acculturation context (family, friends, or media), and the type of substance. For inhalants, higher linguistic acculturation with friends was inversely associated with drug initiation both for boys and girls. Implications for preventive science and future intervention research are discussed.
acculturation; bilingual/bicultural; Hispanic/Latino/Latina; substance use/alcohol and drug use
Using a predominately Mexican-origin Latino sample of 5th grade students from the Southwestern United States, this study examined the relative effects of perceived discrimination and acculturation stress on substance use, and it assessed whether these effects were moderated by linguistic acculturation or time in the United States. Although rates of substance use were generally low in the sample, given the young age of the participants, over half (59%) of the sample perceived some discrimination, and almost half (47%) experienced some acculturation stress. Spanish-dominant and bilingual youth perceived more discrimination than English-dominant youth, whereas youth who have been in the United States five or fewer years perceived more discrimination than youth with more time in the United States. Youth who were Spanish-dominant or were recent arrivals experienced the most acculturation stress, with levels declining as linguistic acculturation and time in the United States increased. Multiple regression estimates indicated that perceived discrimination was associated with larger amounts and higher frequency of recent substance use and an array of substance use attitudes, such as stronger intentions to use substances, espousal of pro-drug norms, more positive substance use expectancies, and peer approval of substance use. Although acculturation stress was not associated with substance use, it was positively associated with several substance use attitudes, which are known antecedents of actual use. With a few exceptions, linguistic acculturation and time in the United States did not moderate the effects of perceived discrimination or acculturation stress.
A structural equations model examined the influence of three cultural variables of ethnic pride, traditional family values and acculturation, along with the mediating variables of avoidance self-efficacy and perceptions of the “benefits” of cigarette smoking, on cigarette and alcohol use in a sample of Latino middle school students in the Southwest. Girls (N = 585) and boys (N = 360) were analyzed separately. In both groups, higher ethnic pride and traditional family values exerted indirect effects on less cigarette smoking and alcohol use when mediated through greater self-efficacy and less endorsement of the “benefits” of cigarette smoking. Among the girls, greater ethnic pride also had a direct effect on less cigarette and alcohol use. Also, greater acculturation directly predicted more cigarette and alcohol use among the girls, but not among the boys. However, differences between the boys and girls were generally nonsignificant as revealed by multiple group latent variable models. These results offer implications for incorporating cultural variables into the design of culturally relevant prevention interventions that discourage cigarette and alcohol use among Latino adolescents.
Ethnic pride; Acculturation; Traditional family values; Latino adolescents; Alcohol use; Tobacco use; Gender differences
Understanding how schools—a key context for children—shape students’ cultural trajectories is important since these trajectories are tied to youth development and achievement. This study assessed how the size of the school’s group of acculturated Latino and non-Latino students influenced the acculturation of 1,720 Latino 5th-grade students from urban public schools in the Southwest United States. A longitudinal secondary data analysis revealed that controlling for wave 1 acculturation, youths in schools with larger proportions of linguistically acculturated students were more acculturated at wave 2 than youths in schools with smaller proportions of such students. This effect was independent of Latino students’ baseline acculturation level and was found even in schools with minority proportions of more acculturated students.
Despite generally lower socioeconomic status and worse access to healthcare, Latinos have better overall health outcomes and longer life expectancy than non-Latino Whites. This “Latino Health Paradox” has been partially attributed to healthier cardiovascular (CV) behaviors among Latinos. However, as Latinos become more acculturated, differences in some CV behaviors disappear. This study aimed to explore how associations between acculturation and CV behaviors among Latinos vary by country of origin. Combined weighted data from the 2005 and 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) were used to investigate associations between acculturation level and CV behaviors among Latinos by country of origin. Among all Latinos, increased acculturation was associated with more smoking, increased leisure-time physical activity, and greater consumption of fast foods, but no change in fruit/vegetable and less soda intake. These trends varied, however, by Latino sub-groups from different countries of origin. Country of origin appears to impact associations between acculturation and CV behaviors among Latinos in complex ways.
Acculturation Cardiovascular behaviors Latinos Country of origin
This study presents the results of an assessment of 377 Mexican heritage 7th grade adolescents attending middle school in Arizona. The students answered questions concerning personal substance use, linguistic acculturation and parental monitoring. Linguistic acculturation in general did not predict substance use, while greater perceived parental monitoring significantly predicted a lesser likelihood to use substances for both boys and girls. There was a significant acculturation by parental monitoring interaction for ever use of alcohol for boys, with parent monitoring effects being more pronounced in reducing alcohol use among highly acculturated boys. Results are discussed in terms of how acculturation impacts family processes and the drug use behaviors of Mexican heritage adolescents living in predominantly Mexican enclaves.
The prevalence of depression is increasing not only among adults, but also among adolescents. Several risk factors for depression in youth have been identified, including female gender, increasing age, lower socio-economic status, and Latino ethnic background. The literature is divided regarding the role of acculturation as risk factor among Latino youth. We analyzed the correlates of depressive symptoms among Latino and Non-Latino White adolescents residing in California with a special focus on acculturation.
We performed an analysis of the adolescent sample of the 2003 California Health Interview Survey, which included 3,196 telephone-interviews with Latino and Non-Latino White adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17. Depressive symptomatology was measured with a reduced version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Acculturation was measured by a score based on language in which the interview was conducted, language(s) spoken at home, place of birth, number of years lived in the United States, and citizenship status of the adolescent and both of his/her parents, using canonical principal component analysis. Other variables used in the analysis were: support provided by adults at school and at home, age of the adolescent, gender, socio-economic status, and household type (two parent or one parent household).
Unadjusted analysis suggested that the risk of depressive symptoms was twice as high among Latinos as compared to Non-Latino Whites (10.5% versus 5.5 %, p < 0.001). The risk was slightly higher in the low acculturation group than in the high acculturation group (13.1% versus 9.7%, p = 0.12). Similarly, low acculturation was associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms in multivariate analysis within the Latino subsample (OR 1.54, CI 0.97–2.44, p = 0.07). Latino ethnicity emerged as risk factor for depressive symptoms among the strata with higher income and high support at home and at school. In the disadvantaged subgroups (higher poverty, low support at home and at school) Non-Latino Whites and Latinos had a similar risk of depressive symptoms.
Our findings suggest that the differences in depressive symptoms between Non-Latino Whites and Latino adolescents disappear at least in some strata after adjusting for socio-demographic and social support variables.
Among a predominately Mexican and Mexican American sample of preadolescents, religiosity protected against lifetime alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use and recent alcohol and cigarette use when religious affiliation was controlled. When religiosity was controlled, however, adolescents with no religious affiliation and adolescents who were religiously affiliated reported similar substance use outcomes. Interaction effects demonstrated that the protective effect of greater religiosity operated more strongly in some religions than in others for selected outcomes. Overall, the impact of religiosity on reported drug use did not differ significantly for more and less acculturated Latino youth.
adolescents; drug use; religiosity; Mexican American; acculturation
The purpose of this study was to examine parental monitoring practices and religious involvement (protective factors) and substance use among Mexican American and Non-Latino adolescents in the Southwest of the United States.
We also relied on social control theories to guide our investigation of why adolescents may choose not to use drugs.
The sample was N=1087 adolescents, the age ranged from 13 to 15 years, and the gender distribution was approximately equal. There were 71% Mexican Americans and 29% non-Latinos in the sample.
a number of measures were used including recent substance use, religiosity, religious affiliation, parental monitoring, parental permissiveness, parental norms, and acculturation. Linear regressions were used to examine the relationship between the variables of interest and the outcomes.
Although the effect sizes of the significant relationships were modest, the findings are of interest because they reinforce the importance of the role of parents in the lives of their adolescents and supports previous studies that find that parents have great influence on children’s behaviors including substance use. The results suggest that acculturating adolescents benefit from having clear rules from their parents concerning substance use, and from believing that there is some kind of consequence attached to their behavior. Parental monitoring, by itself, did not explain lower levels of drug use among these adolescents; but it was a predictor of adolescent strong anti-drug personal norms. This study is useful to social workers and other professionals working with parents and adolescents as it provides concrete evidence of possible parents pathway of influence on their children’s health status.
Latino; adolescent substance use; religiosity; parental monitoring
This study examined how ethnic composition and linguistic acculturation within schools affected the efficacy of a youth substance use prevention model program. Data come from a randomized trial of the keepin' it REAL program, using a predominantly Mexican American sample of middle school students in Phoenix, Arizona. Schools were randomly assigned to a control group or to one of three culturally tailored intervention versions. We hypothesized that school ethnic and linguistic acculturation composition (percent Latino, percent non-English speaking at home) and individual level of linguistic acculturation jointly would moderate the efficacy of the prevention program, as indicated by students' alcohol, marijuana, and cigarette use. Using multilevel linear modeling and multiple imputation techniques to manage clustered data and attrition, results showed that desired program effects varied by the linguistic acculturation level of the school, the program version, and individual acculturation level. The Latino intervention version was more efficacious in schools with larger percentages of non-English speaking families, but only among less linguistically acculturated Latino students. There were no significant school level program effects connected to the percentage of Latino students at school, the other versions of the program, or among more linguistically acculturated students.
This study examined the relationships among acculturation, coping styles, substance use, sexual risk behavior, and medication non-adherence among 219 Latinas living with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles, CA. Coping styles were hypothesized to mediate the link between acculturation and health risk behaviors for HIV positive Latinas. Structural equation modeling revealed that greater acculturation was related to less positive coping and more negative coping. In turn, negative coping was associated with more health risk behaviors and more non-adherence. Positive coping was associated with less substance use as reflected in use of cigarettes and alcohol and less non-adherence. Coping styles mediated the relationship between acculturation and health risk behaviors. Findings echo previous works examining the Hispanic Health Paradox wherein more acculturated Latinos exhibit increased risk behavior and maladaptive coping styles. HIV/AIDS interventions need to be mindful of cultural differences within Hispanic populations and be tailored to address these differences.
Acculturation; Coping styles; Latinas; HIV/AIDS; Hispanic
This study tested for gender differences in the impact of linguistic acculturation on pro-drug norms, substance use intentions, and actual substance use among youth of Mexican heritage in a large metropolitan area in the Southwest United States. The authors analyzed baseline survey data provided by 2,487 middle school students of Mexican heritage who were part of a larger, multiethnic randomized efficacy trial of a drug abuse prevention program. Using multi-group structural equation modeling, the authors found that linguistic acculturation was positively and directly related to adherence to pro-drug norms, substance use intentions, and recent alcohol use, controlling for age, poor grades, and socioeconomic status. In addition, linguistic acculturation had an indirect effect on substance use intentions and recent alcohol use through pro-drug norms. The direct effect of linguistic acculturation on pro-drug norms was stronger for girls than for boys, as was its indirect effect on substance use intentions.
acculturation; gender differences; Mexican American youth; substance use; substance use norms
This study examines neighborhood influences on alcohol, cigarette and marijuana use among a predominantly Latino middle school sample. Drawing on theories of immigrant adaptation and segmented assimilation, we test whether neighborhood immigrant, ethnic, and socioeconomic composition, violent crime, residential instability, and family structure have differential effects on substance use among youth from different ethnic and acculturation backgrounds. Data are drawn from self-reports from 3,721 7th grade students attending 35 Phoenix, Arizona middle schools. Analysis was restricted to the two largest ethnic groups, Latino students of Mexican heritage and non-Hispanic Whites. After adjusting for individual-level characteristics and school- level random effects, only one neighborhood effect was found for the sample overall, an undesirable impact of neighborhood residential instability on recent cigarette use. Sub-group analyses by individual ethnicity and acculturation showed more patterned neighborhood effects. Living in neighborhoods with high proportions of recent immigrants was protective against alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use for Latino students at different acculturation levels, while living in predominantly Mexican heritage neighborhoods (mostly non-immigrants) was a risk factor for alcohol and marijuana use for less acculturated Latinos. There were scattered effects of neighborhood poverty and crime, which predicted more cigarette and alcohol use, respectively, but only among more acculturated Latinos. Inconsistent effects confined to bilingual and more acculturated Latinos were found for the neighborhood's proportion of single mother families and its residential instability. No neighborhood effects emerged for non-Hispanic White students. Results suggested that disadvantaged neighborhoods increase substance use among some ethnic minority youth, but immigrant enclaves appear to provide countervailing protections.
neighborhood effects; substance use; adolescents; Mexican Americans; acculturation
This research examined the relationship between acculturation-related variables and binge drinking behavior among nationally representative samples of Mexican American, Cuban American, and Puerto Rican youth. It explored the relationship between length of residence in the United States, type of language spoken in the home (Spanish vs. English) and binge drinking in each of these subgroups. Results suggest that Latino youths with no prior history of alcohol consumption remain largely unaffected by these acculturation-related variables. Youth with a previous history of alcohol consumption experience greater likelihood of binge drinking as a function of the acculturation-related variables, but the relationships are complex.
This review highlights various components of interventions that reduced obesity and type 2 diabetes risk factors among overweight Latino youth. A total of 114 overweight Latino adolescents completed one of four randomized controlled trials: 1) strength training (ST; boys only); 2) modified carbohydrate nutrition program (N); 3) combination of N+ST; or 4) N + Combination of Aerobic and ST (N+CAST; girls only). Measures included: strength by 1-repetition max, dietary intake by 3-d records, body composition by DEXA/MRI, glucose/insulin indices by oral and IV glucose tolerance tests. ST improved insulin sensitivity by 45% in Latino boys, and N, N+ST, and N+CAST improved glucose control in Latino boys and girls. The CAST approach reduced all adiposity measures by ∼3% in Latina girls. Participants who decreased added sugar, increased dietary fiber, and had increased parental attendance, regardless of intervention group, improved insulin action and reduced visceral adipose tissue. In conclusion, ST, CAST, and a modified carbohydrate nutrition program with separate parental classes were all successful components of the interventions that decreased obesity and related metabolic diseases.
Latino adolescents; randomized controlled trials; insulin sensitivity and secretion; diet and exercise interventions; adiposity
Latino youth in the United States are at higher risk for negative sexual outcomes compared to their European American counterparts. Adherence to traditional sexual values may protect against or increase their risk. Past studies have generally utilized proxy measures, such as acculturation, to assess sexual values. The objective of the current study was to develop and test culturally based sexual values measures among Latino youth. Focus groups and qualitative interviews were conducted to generate themes related to sexual values. Six measures were developed: three related to gender role norms (Sexual Talk as Disrespectful, Satisfaction of Sexual Needs as Important, Female Virginity as Important) and three related to comfort regarding sexuality (Comfort with Sexual Communication, Sexual Comfort, and Sexual Self-Acceptance). The scales’ psychometric properties were assessed in a sample of 694 sexually active young Latinos. Results indicate that these measures conformed to single-factor scales and displayed acceptable reliabilities. Correlations with conceptually related measures were in hypothesized directions. Findings suggest it is feasible to directly assess sexual values in a valid and reliable manner. The measures presented in the current article represent tools for such assessment.
sexuality; values; adolescence; Latino; measurement
In the US, Latino MSM are disproportionately affected by HIV, yet there is a paucity of data for this risk group. To this end, we examined data on Latino and non-Latino white MSM who participated across six cities in a 2-year randomized behavioral intervention study—Project EXPLORE. At baseline, Latinos reported significantly more serodiscordant unprotected anal intercourse (SDUA) than non-Latinos. Longitudinal predictors of SDUA included marijuana, poppers, amphetamines and heavy drinking, as well as lower self-efficacy, poorer communication skills, weaker safe-sex norms and more enjoyment of risky sex. For HIV infection, Latinos had significantly higher seroconversion rate over follow-up than non-Latinos. Longitudinal predictors of seroconversion among Latinos included poppers and SDUA. Intervention effects did not significantly differ between Latino and non-Latinos. Findings support HIV intervention work with Latino MSM that includes skills training/counseling to address attitudes about safe sex and impact of substance use on HIV-risk behavior and acquisition.
Hispanic/Latino; MSM; HIV prevention; AIDS/HIV; High-risk sexual behavior; Substance use
Relative to non-Latino whites, Latinos in the United States have a lower socioeconomic status (SES) profile, but a lower all-cause mortality rate. Because lower SES is associated with poorer overall health, a great deal of controversy surrounds the Latino mortality paradox. We employed a secondary data analysis of the 1991 National Health Interview Survey to test the health behavior and acculturation hypotheses, which have been proposed to explain this paradox. These hypotheses posit that: (1) Latinos have more favorable health behaviors and risk factor profiles than non-Latino whites, and (2) Health behaviors and risk factors become more unfavorable with greater acculturation. Specific health behaviors and risk factors studied were: smoking, alcohol use, leisure-time exercise activity, and body mass index (BMI). Consistent with the health behaviors hypothesis, Latinos relative to non-Latino whites were less likely to smoke and drink alcohol, controlling for sociodemographic factors. Latinos, however, were less likely to engage in any exercise activity, and were more likely to have a high BMI compared with non-Latino whites, after controlling for age and SES. Results provided partial support for the acculturation hypothesis. After adjusting for age and SES, higher acculturation was associated with three unhealthy behaviors (a greater likelihood of high alcohol intake, current smoking, a high BMI), but improvement in a fourth (greater likelihood of recent exercise). Gender-specific analyses indicated that the observed differences between Latinos and non-Latino whites, as well as the effects of acculturation on health behaviors, varied across men and women. Results suggest that the health behaviors and acculturation hypotheses may help to at least partially explain the Latino mortality paradox. The mechanisms accounting for the relationship between acculturation and risky behaviors have yet to be identified.
Latino mortality paradox; Smoking; Alcohol use; Exercise; Body mass index; USA
This study examines how neighborhood characteristics affect program efficacy. Data come from a randomized trial of a substance use prevention program called keepin’ it REAL, which was administered to a predominantly Mexican American sample of 4,622 middle school students in Phoenix, Arizona, beginning in 1998. Multilevel models and multiple imputation techniques address clustered data and attrition. Among less linguistically acculturated Latinos, living in poorer neighborhoods and those with many single-mother families decreased program effectiveness in combating alcohol use. High neighborhood immigrant composition increased program effectiveness. Unexpectedly, the program was also more effective in neighborhoods with higher rates of crime. There were no significant effects on program efficacy for the more linguistically acculturated Latinos and non-Hispanic White students. Findings are discussed in light of theories of neighborhood social disorganization, immigrant adaptation, and social isolation.
substance use; adolescents; neighborhoods; neighborhood effects; Latinos; Mexican Americans; acculturation; prevention; program efficacy; social control; social cohesion; social capital; treatment
This article examines key aspects of the school environment — its composition by ethnicity and acculturation — as important social contexts for understanding Mexican immigrant and Mexican American adolescents' drug use norms and behaviors. Results are presented based on surveys completed by Mexican-background students from 35 Phoenix. Arizona middle schools, whose enrollment ranged from a numerical minority to an overwhelming majority. Multivariate mixed models tested for the influence of school ethnic composition measures on substance use outcomes, while accounting for individual level predictors and for the nesting of data at the school level. The proportional representation of Latinos in the school was not a factor in an individual's drug use norms or drug use for the sample overall. Once students were broken down by acculturation status, however, ethnic composition had an effect. Less acculturated Mexican heritage students in schools with higher proportions of Latino students reported less substance use and less adherence to pro-drug norms. Further investigation using other measures of ethnic composition suggested that these effects were attributable to the larger presence of less acculturated Latinos in the school rather than more acculturated Latino students. These school-level effects support the individual-level results indicating that less acculturated Mexican American students face less daunting substance use risks. The results suggest that ethnic group size, but not necessarily numerical predominance, matters and that within-group differences influence the effect of a particular ethnic group's presence in the school. In other words, the majority does not always rule. These findings are interpreted using the concepts of segmented assimilation and school level social capital.
This article presents the findings of a study examining acculturation differences between adolescents and their mothers within Mexican immigrant families in the border region of the Southwest U.S. The main hypotheses of the study was that youth in mother-child dyads with mismatched acculturation strategies would report higher levels of externalizing problem behaviors than other adolescents, and that this relationship would be mediated by family conflict, acculturation conflict, family cohesion, and sense of familism.
The participants formed 142 dyads (N=284) of Mexican heritage mothers and their adolescent children. Regression analysis indicated that a gap or mismatch in acculturation strategies was associated with more externalizing youth problem behaviors.
Compared to the dyads where both mother and child were bicultural, only youth with more acculturated mothers demonstrated increased rates of externalizing problem behaviors. Family conflict and acculturation conflict mediated the relationship between acculturation gaps and externalizing behaviors. Implications for family-centered interventions as well as future research and policy implications are discussed.
Adolescent and parent communication; Ethnic minority families; Latino families; Acculturation gap; Familism
Latino adolescents report high levels of depression compared to other youth, yet little is known about how culture-specific factors contribute to risk (Blazer, Kessler, McGonagle, & Swartz, 1994; Roberts, Roberts, & Chen, 1997; Roberts & Sobhan, 1992; Twenge & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2002). In this study we evaluated the link between cultural discrepancy (i.e., perceived acculturation and gender role disparity between children and their parents) and depression among children of Latino immigrants. Compared to boys, Latina adolescents reported greater differences in traditional gender role beliefs between themselves and their parents and higher levels of depression. Gender role discrepancy was associated with higher youth depression, with this relationship mediated by increases in family dysfunction. Moreover, a moderator analysis suggested that gender role discrepancy effects may be most pronounced for Latina adolescents. Gender role discrepancy was associated with poorer family functioning for girls but not for boys, although the interaction effect was only marginally significant. These preliminary results point to the importance of considering cultural discrepancy as a contributing factor to youth depression.
adolescent; depression; Latino; discrepancy; acculturation; gender roles; marianismo; machismo
Latinos are a fast growing segment of the U.S. health care population. Acculturation factors, including English fluency, result in an ethnic group heterogeneous with regard to SES, health practices, and health education needs. This study examined how demographic and health-related characteristics of Spanish-dominant (SD), Bilingual (BIL), and English-dominant (ED) Latino men and women aged 25–64 differed among members of a large Northern California health plan.
This observational study was based on data from cohorts of 171 SD (requiring an interpreter), 181 BIL, and 734 ED Latinos aged 25–64 who responded to random sample health plan member surveys conducted 2005–2006. Language groups were compared separately by gender on education, income, behavioral health risks (smoking, obesity, exercise frequency, dietary practices, health beliefs), health status (overall health and emotional health, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heartburn/acid reflux, back pain, depression), computer and Internet access, and health education modality preferences.
Compared with ED Latinos, higher percentages of the SD and BIL groups had very low educational attainment and low income. While groups were similar in prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, SD were less likely than ED Latinos to rate overall health and emotional well-being as good, very good, or excellent and more likely to report heartburn and back pain (women only). The groups were similar with regard to smoking and obesity, but among women, SD were more likely to be physically inactive than ED, and BIL were less likely than SD and ED groups to eat <3 servings of fruit/vegetables per day. SD and BIL of both genders were significantly less likely than ED Latinos to believe that health practices had a large impact on health. Compared to ED men and women, SD and BIL Latinos had significantly lower Internet and computer access. As a result, SD Latinos had a greater preference for lower technology health education modalities such as videos and taped phone messages.
There are important differences among Latinos of different English language proficiency with regard to education, income, health status, health behaviors, IT access, and health education modality preferences that ought to be considered when planning and implementing health programs for this growing segment of the U.S. population.
The purpose of this study was to assess the combined effects of ethnic identification and perceived parental monitoring on the substance use of a sample of 162 male and 192 female Mexican heritage seventh grade adolescents. Parental monitoring predicted lower risk for substance use. An interaction of ethnic identification by parental monitoring was observed with parental monitoring exhibiting stronger effects in decreasing use of alcohol use among boys who scored low on ethnic identification. For girls, decreased substance use was predicted by stronger parental monitoring coupled with high ethnic identification. Results are discussed in terms of how the youth’s ethnic identification is a distinct process from acculturation, and how ethnic identification may operate as an added protective factor in conjunction with parental monitoring, as protective factors against adolescent substance abuse.