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1.  Gender Identity, Ethnicity, Acculturation, and Drug Use: Exploring Differences among Adolescents in the Southwest 
Journal of community psychology  2003;31(2):167-188.
This article presents the findings of a survey completed by 1351 predominantly Mexican American middle school students residing in a large urban center in the U.S. Southwest. The study explores possible associations between drug use attitudes and behaviors and gender (biological sex), gender identity, ethnicity, and acculturation status. Based on the concepts of “machismo” and “marianismo” that have been used to describe Mexican populations, four dimensions of gender identity were measured: aggressive masculinity, assertive masculinity, affective femininity, and submissive femininity. In explaining a variety of indicators of drug use behaviors and anti-drug norms, gender alone had limited explanatory power, while gender identity—often regardless of gender—was a better predictor. Aggressive masculinity was generally associated with higher risk of drug use, while the other three gender identity measures had selected protective effects. However, the impact of gender identity was strongly mediated by acculturation. Less acculturated Mexican American students reported lower aggressive masculinity scores than non-Latinos. Less acculturated Mexican American girls reported both the lowest aggressive masculinity scores and the highest submissive femininity scores. More acculturated Mexican American students, along with the less acculturated Mexican American boys, did not appear to be following a polarized approach to gender identity (machismo and marianismo) as was expected. The findings suggest that some aspects of culturally prescribed gender roles can have a protective effect against drug use behaviors and attitudes, possibly for both girls and boys.
doi:10.1002/jcop.10041
PMCID: PMC3045088  PMID: 21359134
2.  Body Image, Acculturation, and Substance Abuse Among Boys and Girls in the Southwest 
This study explored body image as measured by perceptions of weight and appearance and its impact on adolescent drug use among predominately Mexican American middle school students in the southwest. Outcomes analyzed included lifetime and recent alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use and antidrug norms. Disliking one’s looks was more of a risk factor for boys, whereas negative weight perceptions were more of a risk factor for girls. Relative to more acculturated (English-dominant) Latinos (N=903), non-Latino Whites (N=121), and other non-Latino youth (N=107), less acculturated (Spanish-dominant) Latino youth (N=212) reported the poorest body image. However, more acculturated Latino youth with poor body image had the greatest risk of substance use. More acculturated Latino boys who disliked their looks reported relatively greater amounts of recent alcohol use, and those who rated their bodies as too thin reported higher lifetime cigarette use, a greater amount and frequency of recent cigarette use, and weaker antidrug norms. More acculturated Latina girls who thought they were too fat reported a greater amount and frequency of recent cigarette use. These findings suggest that low levels of acculturation may protect some Latino youth with poor body image from coping via substance use. In addition, they suggest that poor body image among some Latinos may result less from adoption of American thinness ideals but rather from attitudes and behaviors that devalue the characteristics of Latino appearance.
PMCID: PMC3043457  PMID: 16320438
Body image; acculturation; substance abuse

Results 1-2 (2)