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1.  Associations Between Ethnic Labels and Substance Use Among Hispanic/Latino Adolescents in Los Angeles 
Substance use & misuse  2014;49(8):1007-1016.
Self-identification with ethnic-specific labels may indicate successful ethnic identity formation, which could protect against substance use. Alternatively, it might indicate affiliation with oppositional subcultures, a potential risk factor. This study examined longitudinal associations between ethnic labels and substance use among 1,575 Hispanic adolescents in Los Angeles. Adolescents who identified as Cholo or La Raza in 9th grade were at increased risk of past-month substance use in 11th grade. Associations were similar across gender and were not confounded by socioeconomic status, ethnic identity development, acculturation, or language use. Targeted prevention interventions for adolescents who identify with these subcultures may be warranted.
PMCID: PMC4071453  PMID: 24779500
culture; ethnicity; hispanic; latino; ethnic identity; tobacco; alcohol; marijuana; adolescents
2.  Substance use among adolescents in California: A latent class analysis 
Substance use & misuse  2013;10.3109/10826084.2013.824468.
Data from the California Healthy Kids Survey of 7th, 9th, and 11th graders were used to identify latent classes/clusters of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use (N=418,702). Analyses revealed four latent classes of substance use which included non-users (61.1%), alcohol experimenters (some recent alcohol use; 22.8%), mild poly-substance users (lifetime use of all substances with less than three days of recent use; 9.2%), and frequent poly-substance users (used all substances three or more times in the past month; 6.9%). The results revealed that alcohol and marijuana use are salient to California adolescents. This information can be used to target and tailor school-based prevention efforts.
PMCID: PMC3842372  PMID: 23971853
adolescents; alcohol; tobacco; marijuana
3.  Perceived Context of Reception among Recent Hispanic Immigrants: Conceptualization, Instrument Development, and Preliminary Validation 
Context of reception has been discussed widely in the sociological and anthropological literature, but no measures of this construct exist. We designed a measure of perceived context of reception and provide initial support for the factorial validity, internal consistency reliability, and incremental and discriminant validity of scores generated by this measure. A sample of 302 recent-immigrant Hispanic parent-adolescent dyads from Miami and Los Angeles completed the new perceived context of reception measure, as well as measures of perceived discrimination; Hispanic/American cultural practices, values, and identifications; and depressive symptoms. In Phase 1, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses extracted a factor for negative perceived context of reception. A subscale corresponding to this factor was used in Phase 2; for parents and adolescents, negative perceived context of reception and perceived discrimination were differentially associated with acculturation-related variables – suggesting discriminant validity between perceived discrimination and negative perceived context of reception. For adolescents at both sites and for parents in Los Angeles only, the negative perceived context of reception dimensions were significantly associated with depressive symptoms six months later, over and above the contribution made by perceived discrimination – suggesting incremental validity. Results are discussed in terms of perceived context of reception as a new and emerging construct.
PMCID: PMC3946425  PMID: 24099485
Context of reception; discrimination; Hispanic; immigrants; acculturation
4.  Emerging adulthood themes, role transitions and substance use among Hispanics in Southern California 
Addictive behaviors  2013;38(12):10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.08.001.
Hispanic emerging adults appear to be at especially high risk for substance use but little is known about their risk and protective factors. A crucial next step to reducing substance use among this priority population may involve understanding how transition-to-adulthood themes are associated with substance use. Intervention and prevention programs could also benefit from information about which if any specific transitions undergone in emerging adulthood are associated with substance use.
Hispanic emerging adults (aged 18 to 24) completed surveys indicating their identification with transition-to-adulthood themes, role transitions in the past year, and use of alcohol and marijuana. Logistic regression models were used to examine the associations between transition-to-adulthood themes and past-month binge drinking and marijuana use, controlling for age and gender. Separate logistic regression models explored the association between each individual role transition and past-month binge drinking and marijuana use, controlling for age and gender and using a Bonferonni correction.
Among the participants (n=1,390), 41% were male, the average age was 21, 24% reported past-month marijuana use and 34% reported past-month binge drinking. Participants who felt emerging adulthood was a time of focusing on others were less likely to report marijuana use and binge drinking. Among the 24 transitions, five were significantly associated with past-month marijuana use and 10 were significantly associated with past-month binge drinking.
Findings suggest transition-to-adulthood themes as well as specific changes experienced by emerging adults are meaningful for Hispanics and should be explored in prevention and intervention programs in the future. Future research should determine what specific mechanisms are making these transitional processes risk factors for substance use.
PMCID: PMC3812433  PMID: 24018219
Hispanics; Emerging Adults; Marijuana; Binge drinking; Substance use
5.  Consumers’ perceptions of vape shops in Southern California: an analysis of online Yelp reviews 
Tobacco Induced Diseases  2014;12(1):22.
E-cigarettes are sold at many different types of retail establishments. A new type of shop has emerged, the vape shop, which specializes in sales of varied types of e-cigarettes. Vape shops allow users to sample several types. There are no empirical research articles on vape shops. Information is needed on consumers’ beliefs and behaviors about these shops, the range of products sold, marketing practices, and variation in shop characteristics by ethnic community and potential counter-marketing messages.
This study is the first to investigate marketing characteristics of vape shops located in different ethnic neighborhoods in Los Angeles, by conducting a Yelp electronic search and content analysis of consumer reports on vape shops they have visited. The primary measure was Yelp reviews (N = 103 vape shops in the Los Angeles, California area), which were retrieved and content coded. We compared the attributes of vape shops representing four ethnic communities: African American, Hispanic/Latino, Korean, and White.
Vape shop attributes listed as most important were the selection of flavors or hardware (95%), fair prices (92%), and unique flavors or hardware (89%). Important staff marketing attributes included being friendly (99%), helpful/patient/respectful (97%), and knowledgeable/professional (95%). Over one-half of the shops were rated as clean (52%) and relaxed (61%). Relatively few of the reviews mentioned quitting smoking (32%) or safety of e-cigarettes (15%). The selection of flavors and hardware appeared relatively important in Korean ethnic location vape shops.
Yelp reviews may influence potential consumers. As such, the present study’s focus on Yelp reviews addressed at least eight of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products’ priorities pertaining to marketing influences on consumer beliefs and behaviors. The findings suggest that there were several vape shop and product attributes that consumers considered important to disseminate to others through postings on Yelp. Lack of health warnings about these products may misrepresent their potential risk. The main influence variables were product variety and price. There was only a little evidence of influence of ethnic neighborhood; for example, regarding importance of flavors and hardware. Shop observational studies are recommended to discern safety factors across different ethnic neighborhoods.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12971-014-0022-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4258055  PMID: 25484852
Vaping shops; Yelp; Southern California; Tobacco regulatory science
6.  Role Transitions in Emerging Adulthood Are Associated With Smoking Among Hispanics in Southern California 
Nicotine & Tobacco Research  2013;15(11):1948-1951.
Smoking initiation seldom occurs after emerging adulthood, making prevention critical during this phase of the life course. Among emerging adults, Hispanics have an especially high risk for cigarette use. Emerging adulthood scholars suggest role transitions commonly experienced by this age group may lead to substance use including cigarette experimentation and/or progression, contributing to the high smoking rates exhibited by Hispanics.
Hispanic emerging adults (aged 18–24) completed surveys indicating which of a comprehensive list of role transitions they had experienced in the past year. Separate logistic regression models explored the association between each individual role transition and smoking in the past 30 days, controlling for age and gender and using a Bonferonni correction.
Among the sample of emerging adults (n = 1,390), 41% were male, the average age was 21, and about 21% reported cigarette use in the past 30 days. Losing a job, becoming a family member’s caregiver, starting to date someone new, experiencing a breakup, being arrested, and becoming addicted to illicit drugs and/or alcohol were all associated with smoking.
The stress associated with navigating through changes in critical periods of the life course may lead some emerging adults to smoke. Future research should be directed toward determining what specific mechanisms make these transitional processes risk factors for smoking. These determinations could prove critical if effective prevention programs are to be designed that lead to a decrease in the smoking prevalence among Hispanic emerging adults.
PMCID: PMC3790634  PMID: 23811010
7.  Multiple Peer Group Self-Identification and Adolescent Tobacco Use 
Substance use & misuse  2012;47(6):757-766.
Associations between peer group self-identification and smoking were examined among 2,698 ethnically diverse middle school students in Los Angeles who self-identified with groups such as Rockers, Skaters, and Gamers. The sample was 47.1% male, 54.7% Latino, 25.4% Asian, 10.8% White, 9.1% Other ethnicity, and 59.3% children of immigrant parents. Multiple group self-identification was common: 84% identified with two or more groups and 65% identified with three or more groups. Logistic regression analyses indicated that as students endorsed more high-risk groups, the greater their risk of tobacco use. A classification tree analysis identified risk groups based on interactions among ethnicity, gender, and group self-identification. Psychographic targeting based on group self-identification could be useful to design more relevant smoking prevention messages for adolescents who identify with high-risk peer groups.
PMCID: PMC4201855  PMID: 22458850
tobacco use; adolescent; peer group; ethnicity; prevention
8.  Relative income inequality and selected health outcomes in urban Chinese youth 
Self reported cross-sectional data gathered in 2002 from 12,449 middle and high school students from seven major cities in China were examined to explore the association of self-perceived relative income inequality (SPRII) with general health status, depression, stress, and cigarette smoking. Two types of self-perceived relative income were evaluated: household income relative to peers (SPRII-S) and relative to their own past (SPRII-P). SPRII-S and SPRII-P were coded as three-level categorical variables: lower, equal, and higher. As hypothesized, the youth in the “Lower” SPRII-S or SPRII-P groups reported the worst general health and the highest levels of depression and stress; the youth in the “Higher” groups reported the best general health. Unexpectedly, the youth in the “Higher” groups did not report the lowest levels of depression and stress, and the relationship between SPRII and cigarette smoking was even less straightforward. The expected positive relationship between SPRII and the general health status is consistent with previous research, but the relationships between SPRII and depression, stress, and cigarette smoking behavior are not. Further studies are needed to elucidate the complex associations between SPRII and health outcomes in rapidly transforming economies such as China.
PMCID: PMC4184428  PMID: 22137733
Income inequality; Relative deprivation; Affluence; Health behavior; Youth; Mental health; China; Self-reported health
9.  Bidirectional Associations Between Future Time Perspective and Substance Use Among Continuation High-School Students 
Substance use & misuse  2013;48(8):574-580.
We examined whether a bidirectional, longitudinal relationship exists between future time perspective (FTP), measured with the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory, and any past 30-day use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, or hard drugs among continuation high school students (N = 1,310, mean age 16.8 years) in a large urban area. We found increased FTP to be protective against drug use for all substances except alcohol. While any baseline use of substances did not predict changes in FTP 1 year later. The discussion explores why alcohol findings may differ from other substances. Future consideration of FTP as a mediator of program effects is explored.
PMCID: PMC4181553  PMID: 23750661
future time perspective; future orientation; continuation high school; tobacco; alcohol; marijuana; hard drugs; adolescent; toward no drug abuse; substance use
10.  Secondhand Smoke Exposure Among Hispanics/Latinos Living in Multiunit Housing: Exploring Barriers to New Policies 
Despite a high prevalence of voluntary home smoking bans and laws protecting Californians from exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) in the workplace, many Hispanic/Latino (H/L) residents of multiunit housing (MUH) are potentially exposed to SHS from neighboring apartments. An advocacy/policy intervention was implemented to reduce tobacco-related health disparities by encouraging H/L living in MUH to implement voluntary policies that reduce exposure to SHS. This article presents findings from qualitative and quantitative data collected during development of the intervention, as well as preliminary results of the intervention.
Design, Setting, and Subjects
MUH residents in Southern California participated in focus groups (n = 48), door-to-door surveys (n = 142), and a telephone survey (n = 409).
Exposure to SHS, attitudes toward SHS, and attitudes toward policies restricting SHS in MUH were assessed.
H/L MUH residents reported high levels of exposure to SHS and little ability to protect themselves and their families from SHS. Respondents expressed positive attitudes toward adopting antismoking policies in MUH, but they also feared retaliation by smokers. The cultural values of familismo, respeto, simpatía, and personalismo influenced their motivation to protect their families from SHS as well as their reluctance to ask their neighbors to refrain from smoking. Nonsmokers were more likely to favor complete indoor and outdoor smoking bans in MUH, whereas smokers were more likely to favor separate smoking areas. The Regale Salud advocacy/policy intervention, implemented to reduce SHS exposure, prompted the passage of seven voluntary policies in apartment complexes in Southern California to prevent smoking in MUH.
H/L in California support voluntary policies, local ordinances, and state laws that prevent exposure to SHS in MUH, especially those that are consistent with H/L cultural values and norms for interpersonal communication.
PMCID: PMC4141770  PMID: 21510793
Tobacco; Secondhand Smoke; Hispanic; Latino; Multiunit Housing; Apartment; Prevention Research; Manuscript format: research; Research purpose: descriptive, program evaluation; Study design: nonexperimental; Outcome measure: cognitive, behavioral; Setting: local community; Health focus: smoking control; Strategy: policy; Target population age: adults; Target population circumstances: low income, Hispanic/Latino, California
11.  Bullying Victimization as a Mediator of Associations between Cultural/familial Variables, Substance use and Depressive symptoms among Hispanic Youth 
Ethnicity & health  2013;18(4):415-432.
This article examines the antecedents and consequences of bullying victimization among a sample of Hispanic high school students. Although cultural and familial variables have been examined as potential risk or protective factors for substance use and depression, previous studies have not examined the role of peer victimization in these processes. We evaluated a conceptual model in which cultural and familial factors influenced the risk of victimization, which in turn influenced the risk of substance use and depression.
Data were collected as part of a longitudinal survey study of 9th and 10th grade Hispanic/Latino students in Southern California (n=1167). The student bodies were at least 70% Hispanic/Latino with a range of socioeconomic characteristics represented. We used linear and logistic regression models to test hypothesized relationships between cultural and familial factors and depression and substance and a meditational model to assess whether bullying victimization mediated these associations.
Acculturative stress and family cohesion were significantly associated with bullying victimization. Family cohesion was associated with depression and substance use. Social support was associated with alcohol use. Acculturative stress was associated with higher depression. The associations between acculturative stress and depression, family cohesion and depression, and family cohesion and cigarette use were mediated by bullying victimization.
These findings provide valuable information to the growing, but still limited, literature about the cultural barriers and strengths that are intrinsic to the transition from adolescence to emerging adulthood among Hispanic youth. Our findings are consistent with a mediational model in which cultural/familial factors influence the risk of peer victimization, which in turn influences depressive symptoms and smoking, suggesting the potential positive benefits of school based programs that facilitate the development of coping skills for students experiencing cultural and familial stressors.
PMCID: PMC3723765  PMID: 23297708
Hispanic; acculturation; family cohesion; bullying victimization; depression; substance use
12.  The Role of Acculturation, Parenting, and Family in Hispanic/Latino Adolescent Substance Use: Findings From a Qualitative Analysis 
Focus groups were conducted with adolescents and parents as part of a larger study to understand the connection between acculturation and Hispanic/Latino adolescent substance use. Parents (n = 18) were all mothers and had an average age of 42 years. Students (n = 16) were 62% female and had an average age of 14 years. Results are summarized in five categories: culture/ethnic identity, acculturation, parent-child conflict/relationships, gender, and adolescent substance use. Parents and adolescents held similar views in some areas (e.g., pride in ethnic identity and changes in language use), but diverged in others (e.g., indicators of acculturation, gender differences in parenting, and ideas of freedom and independence). Participants in the focus groups did not endorse the association between acculturation and substance use that has been detected in quantitative studies. Implications for substance use prevention and treatment programs are discussed.
PMCID: PMC2577586  PMID: 18985171
Acculturation; adolescents; Latino/Hispanic; qualitative methods; substance use
13.  Socioeconomic correlates of smoking among an ethnically diverse sample of 8th grade adolescents in Southern California 
Preventive medicine  2007;44(4):323-327.
Socioeconomic status (SES) has been associated with smoking among adolescents, but it is not known which attributes of SES are responsible for the added risk, or whether these associations are consistent in ethnically diverse samples.
This study investigated the associations between SES variables and smoking behavior among an ethnically diverse sample of 1847 8th-grade adolescents in Southern California in 2002. Several aspects of SES were examined: an objective composite measure of family and neighborhood SES, the adolescent’s spending money, and the adolescent’s perception of SES (family’s ability to afford basic necessities, wealth relative to others, and wealth relative to last year).
After controlling for demographic characteristics, smoking behavior of parents and friends, and parental monitoring, low scores on the objective SES index and large amounts of pocket money were associated with an increased risk of smoking.The subjective measures of perceived SES were not associated with smoking.
Results indicate that increased smoking prevention efforts are needed in low-SES areas, and that limiting adolescents’ pocket money may be an effective strategy for preventing smoking.
PMCID: PMC1904430  PMID: 17303234
smoking; adolescence; socioeconomic status
14.  Developmental Trajectories of Acculturation in Hispanic Adolescents: Associations With Family Functioning and Adolescent Risk Behavior 
Child development  2013;84(4):1355-1372.
The present study examined longitudinal acculturation patterns, and their associations with family functioning and adolescent risk behaviors, in Hispanic immigrant families. A sample of 266 Hispanic adolescents (mean age 13.4) and their primary parents completed measures of acculturation, family functioning, and adolescent conduct problems, substance use, and sexual behavior at five timepoints. Mixture models yielded three trajectory classes apiece for adolescent and parent acculturation. Assimilated adolescents reported the poorest family functioning, but adolescent assimilation negatively predicted adolescent cigarette smoking, sexual activity, and unprotected sex indirectly through family functioning. Follow-up analyses indicated that discrepancies between adolescent and parent family functioning reports predicted these adolescent outcomes. Results are discussed regarding acculturation trajectories, adolescent risk behavior, and the mediating role of family functioning.
PMCID: PMC3712284  PMID: 23848416
Acculturation; Hispanic; mixture modeling; conduct problems; cigarette use; alcohol use; unprotected sex
15.  A Longitudinal Analysis of Hispanic Youth Acculturation and Cigarette Smoking: The Roles of Gender, Culture, Family, and Discrimination 
Nicotine & Tobacco Research  2012;15(5):957-968.
Risk for smoking initiation increases as Hispanic youth acculturate to U.S. society, and this association seems to be stronger for Hispanic girls than boys. To better understand the influence of culture, family, and everyday discrimination on cigarette smoking, we tested a process-oriented model of acculturation and cigarette smoking.
Data came from Project RED (Reteniendo y Entendiendo Diversidad para Salud), which included 1,436 Hispanic students (54% girls) from Southern California. We used data from 9th to 11th grade (85% were 14 years old, and 86% were U.S. born) to test the influence of acculturation-related experiences on smoking over time.
Multigroup structural equation analysis suggested that acculturation was associated with increased familismo and lower traditional gender roles, and enculturation was linked more with familismo and respeto. Familismo, respeto, and traditional gender roles were linked with lower family conflict and increased family cohesion, and these links were stronger for girls. Familismo and respeto were further associated with lower discrimination. Conversely, fatalismo was linked with worse family functioning (especially for boys) and increased discrimination in both the groups. Discrimination was the only predictor of smoking for boys and girls.
In all, the results of the current study indicate that reducing discrimination and helping youth cope with discrimination may prevent or reduce smoking in Hispanic boys and girls. This may be achieved by promoting familismo and respeto and by discouraging fatalistic beliefs.
PMCID: PMC3621579  PMID: 23109671
16.  A Comparison of Peer Influence Measures as Predictors of Smoking among Predominately Hispanic/Latino High School Adolescents 
Consistent evidence has shown that one of the most significant influences on adolescent smoking is peer influence. There is considerable variation, however, in how peer influence is measured. This study constructs social network influence and selection variables from egocentric and sociometric data to compare their associations with smoking with considerations of perceived smoking norms and adolescent popularity.
Longitudinal data were collected in 9th and 10th grades in October 2006 and 2007 from predominantly Hispanic/Latino adolescents in seven southern California schools among which 1,950 adolescents completed surveys at both waves. Both cross-sectional (separately for 9th and 10th graders) and longitudinal models were estimated.
An ego-centric measure of perceived friend smoking was strongly and consistently associated with individual smoking (AOR 1.80, p<0.001) whereas its sociometric counterpart of friend self-report smoking was only associated with smoking in 9th grade cross-sectional models (e.g., AOR=1.56, p<0.001) and rarely in longitudinal models. Popularity, measured by proportion of nominations received by class size, was associated with smoking and becoming a smoker (AOR=1.67, p<0.001) whereas perceived norms was not in longitudinal models. Friend selection was also associated with becoming a smoker (AOR=1.32, p=0.05).
This study illustrates the utility of ego-centric data for understanding peer influence and underscores the importance of perceptions and popularity as mechanisms that influence adolescent smoking.
PMCID: PMC3580024  PMID: 23299016
social network analysis; peer influence; smoking; perceived smoking; smoking norms; friends
17.  The Role of Cognitive Attributions for Smoking in Subsequent Smoking Progression and Regression among Adolescents in China 
Addictive behaviors  2012;38(1):1493-1498.
Previous studies have documented that cognitive attributions are correlated with adolescent smoking. The present study further explored whether cognitive attributions for smoking influenced adolescents’ future smoking behaviors, especially transitions to more advanced stages of smoking.
Participants were 12,382 middle and high school students (48.5% males and 51.5% females) in seven large cities in China. They completed two waves of surveys one year apart. Cognitive attributions for smoking and three smoking behavior outcomes (lifetime smoking, past 30-day smoking, and daily smoking) were assessed. Changes in smoking, including progression from lower stages to higher stages and regression from higher stages to lower stages, over a one-year period, were defined longitudinally. Polychotomous logistic regression was used to examine associations between cognitive attributions for smoking and changes in smoking status over one year, adjusting for demographic characteristics and other plausible confounders.
Seven out of eight cognitive attributions for smoking were associated with subsequent smoking behaviors (p<0.05). Curiosity, autonomy, social image, social belonging, and coping influenced earlier stages of smoking, whereas mental enhancement and engagement influenced later stages of smoking. Curiosity, autonomy, social image, and mental enhancement preceded smoking progression; social belonging prevented smoking regression; and coping and engagement both preceded smoking progression and prevented smoking regression.
This study demonstrates that different cognitive attributions influence smoking at different stages in different ways. These findings could inform smoking prevention and cessation programs targeting Chinese adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3493682  PMID: 23017586
Attributions; Smoking; Attribution Theory; Adolescents; China
18.  Moderated Mediation Regarding the Sun-Safe Behaviors of U.S. Latinos: Advancing the Theory and Evidence for Acculturation-Focused Research and Interventions 
Recent studies revealed a negative association between acculturation and sun-safe behaviors, possibly mediated by education level, health status, and social networks. We sought to elucidate this relationship by exploring the moderating effects of gender and health insurance on each mediated path. We used data from 496 Latino respondents to the 2005 Health Information National Trends Survey. Acculturation, assessed by a four-item index, was the primary predictor; use of sunscreen and protective clothing were the primary outcomes, assessed by frequency scales. Moderated mediation was tested with an established causal moderation method. The mediated association between acculturation, education level and sunscreen use might be stronger among women than men (P < 0.08). We found no evidence of moderated mediation for use of protective clothing. The findings suggest ways of refining the theoretical and empirical rationale for sun safety research and interventions with Latinos. Studies should replicate these models with longitudinal data.
PMCID: PMC3810164  PMID: 19937384
Acculturation; Sun-safe behaviors; Latinos; Moderated mediation; Sociodemographic factors
19.  Variation in Family Structure Among Urban Adolescents and Its Effects on Drug Use 
Substance use & misuse  2008;43(7):936-951.
Family structure is one factor that can help explain drug use among adolescents. In 2005 a study was conducted with 255 ninth-grade students from an urban, predominantly Latino Los Angeles area high school. Students were 83% Latino, 58% female, and from mostly low SES households. Half of all students reported having ever used alcohol, 30% had ever smoked a cigarette, and 18% had ever used marijuana. Family structure was measured using a single open-ended question and logistic regression was employed to determine the effects of various family structures on the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana. The presence of older siblings in the home was associated with alcohol and marijuana use, and living with a cousin was associated with marijuana use. Results suggest that influential others, including siblings and cousins, should be included in measures of family structure. Study limitations are noted.
PMCID: PMC3794458  PMID: 18570026
drug use; adolescents; acculturation; family structure; siblings; peer influence; Latino; Hispanic
20.  Perceived Discrimination and Substance Use among Latino Adolescents 
To examine perceived discrimination and substance use among Latino high school students.
Latino 9th graders (N=1332) completed self-report measures of perceived discrimination and substance use behavior.
Perceived discrimination was associated with lifetime use measures of smoking (OR=1.73, P<0.01), alcohol (OR=1.53, P<0.01), marijuana (OR=1.70, P<0.01), and inhalants (OR=1.50, P<0.05); and past 30 day measures of smoking (OR=2.54, P<0.01), alcohol (OR=1.63, P<0.01), marijuana (OR=1.95, P<0.01), and inhalants (OR=1.64, P<0.01), and binge drinking (OR=1.84, P<0.01).
Latino adolescents who have higher perceptions of discrimination are at risk for substance use. Interventions to help Latino adolescents cope with feelings of discrimination may be a useful addition to substance use prevention programs.
PMCID: PMC3769114  PMID: 19320620
Latino; adolescent; substance use; discrimination
21.  Substance Use and Sexual Behavior among Recent Hispanic Immigrant Adolescents: Effects of Parent-Adolescent Differential Acculturation and Communication* 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2012;125(Suppl 1):S26-S34.
To ascertain the effects of parent-adolescent acculturation gaps, perceived discrimination, and perceived negative context of reception on adolescent cigarette smoking, alcohol use, sexual activity, and sexual risk taking. We used an expanded, multidimensional model of acculturation.
A sample of 302 recently immigrated parent-adolescent dyads (152 from Miami and 150 from Los Angeles) completed measures of acculturation (Hispanic and American practices and identifications, and individualist and collectivist values) and parent-adolescent communication. Adolescents completed measures of recent cigarette smoking, alcohol use, sexual behavior, and sexual risk taking.
Parent-adolescent gaps in American practices and ethnic identity, and perceptions of a negative context of reception, predicted compromised parent-adolescent communication. In Miami only, adolescent-reported communication negatively predicted odds of cigarette smoking, occasions of drunkenness, and number of sexual partners. Also in Miami only, parent-reported communication positively predicted these outcomes, as well as occasions of adolescent binge drinking, drunkenness, number of sexual partners, and odds of unprotected sex. The only significant findings in Los Angeles were protective effects of parent-reported communication on frequency of alcohol use and of binge drinking. Mediational effects emerged only in the Miami sample.
Effects of parent-adolescent acculturation gaps vary across Hispanic groups and receiving contexts. The especially strong parental control in many Mexican families may account for these differences. However, other important differences between Hispanic subgroups and communities of reception could also account for these differences. Prevention efforts might encourage Hispanic youth both to retain their culture of origin and to acquire American culture.
PMCID: PMC3435468  PMID: 22699094
Hispanic; acculturation; discrimination; alcohol use; recent immigrants
22.  Marijuana Use Among Latino Adolescents: Gender Differences in Protective Familial Factors 
Substance use & misuse  2010;46(5):644-655.
Given the important contextual function of family dynamics and traditional gender roles in Latino cultures, parental influences on substance use among Latino adolescents may differ across genders. This study examined associations between family factors (parental monitoring, parent–child communication, family cohesion, and familism) and marijuana use among 1,369 Latino adolescents in Southern California. Students from seven schools completed surveys in 9th and 11th grades. Longitudinal hierarchical linear regression analyses evaluated the associations between family factors in 9th grade and lifetime marijuana use in 11th grade, as well as gender differences in these associations. Girls reported higher levels of parental monitoring, parental communication, and familism than boys did, but there were no gender differences in family cohesiveness. In a regression model controlling for covariates and previous marijuana use, parent–child communication and family cohesion in 9th grade were each uniquely predictive of lower levels of marijuana consumption in 11th grade. Gender was a statistical moderator, such that higher levels of parent–child communication predicted lower marijuana use among boys, whereas girls’ use was relatively low regardless of parent–child communication levels. Results are discussed in the light of the concurrent socialization processes of family and gender in Latino culture and its relation to preventing delinquent behaviors such as marijuana use.
PMCID: PMC3753174  PMID: 20977294
adolescents; family; gender; Hispanic; Latino; longitudinal; marijuana; parents
23.  Acculturation, Gender, Depression, and Cigarette Smoking Among U.S. Hispanic Youth: The Mediating Role of Perceived Discrimination 
Journal of youth and adolescence  2011;40(11):1519-1533.
Hispanic youth are at risk for experiencing depressive symptoms and smoking cigarettes, and risk for depressive symptoms and cigarette use increase as Hispanic youth acculturate to U.S. culture. The mechanism by which acculturation leads to symptoms of depression and cigarette smoking is not well understood. The present study examined whether perceived discrimination explained the associations of acculturation with depressive symptoms and cigarette smoking among 1,124 Hispanic youth (54% female). Youth in Southern California completed surveys in 9th–11th grade. Separate analyses by gender showed that perceived discrimination explained the relationship between acculturation and depressive symptoms for girls only. There was also evidence that discrimination explained the relationship between acculturation and cigarette smoking among girls, but the effect was only marginally significant. Acculturation was associated with depressive symptoms and smoking among girls only. Perceived discrimination predicted depressive symptoms in both genders, and discrimination was positively associated with cigarette smoking for girls but not boys. These results support the notion that, although Hispanic boys and girls experience acculturation and discrimination, their mental health and smoking behaviors are differentially affected by these experiences. Moreover, the results indicate that acculturation, gender, and discrimination are important factors to consider when addressing Hispanic youth’s mental health and substance use behaviors.
PMCID: PMC3753367  PMID: 21293915
Acculturation; Gender; Perceived discrimination; Depression; Cigarette smoking; Hispanic youth
24.  Parent–Child Acculturation Discrepancies as a Risk Factor for Substance Use among Hispanic Adolescents in Southern California 
Theories of acculturation predict that discrepancies in cultural orientation between adolescents and their parents will increase the adolescents’ risk for behavior problems such as substance use. This study evaluated this hypothesis in a sample of 1772 Hispanic 9th grade students in Southern California. Parent–child discrepancy in U.S. orientation (defined as the difference between the child’s U.S. orientation and the child’s perception of the parents’ U.S. orientation) was a risk factor for past-month smoking, lifetime and past-month alcohol use, and lifetime and past-month marijuana use. Parent–child discrepancy in Hispanic orientation (defined as the difference between the child’s Hispanic orientation and the child’s perception of the parents’ Hispanic orientation) was a risk factor for lifetime and past-month alcohol and marijuana use. The adolescents’ own Hispanic orientation was protective against lifetime and past-month smoking and marijuana use, but not alcohol use. In an analysis of mediation, U.S. acculturation discrepancy was associated with lower levels of family cohesion, which in turn was associated with higher levels of substance use. Results suggest that family-based interventions for acculturating and bicultural Hispanic families may be useful in decreasing the likelihood of substance use among Hispanic adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3745998  PMID: 17922232
Acculturation; Hispanic; Adolescence; Tobacco; Alcohol; Drugs
25.  Parent–Child Acculturation Patterns and Substance Use among Hispanic Adolescents: A Longitudinal Analysis 
The journal of primary prevention  2009;30(0):293-313.
Acculturation discrepancy theory predicts that conflicting cultural preferences between adolescents and their parents will increase the adolescents’ risk for behavior problems such as substance use. This study evaluated this hypothesis in a sample of 1683 Hispanic students in Southern California who completed surveys in 9th and 10th grade. Measures included the students’ own cultural orientations and their perceptions of their parents’ preference for their cultural orientations (“Perceived Parental Cultural Expectations”—PPCE). Hispanic PPCE in 9th grade was a risk factor for lifetime, but not past-month, cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use in 10th grade. The adolescents’ own Hispanic orientation in 9th grade was protective against lifetime and past-month smoking and marijuana use and lifetime alcohol use in 10th grade. The effects of the acculturation variables did not vary according to generation in the U.S. Change in acculturation between 9th and 10th grade was statistically significant but small in magnitude. Increases in parent-child Hispanic acculturation discrepancy (i.e., the difference between the adolescents’ own cultural orientations and their PPCE, with adolescents perceiving that their parents wanted them to be more Hispanic oriented than they actually were) from 9th to 10th grade were associated with an increased risk of substance use. Family-based interventions for acculturating Hispanic families may be useful in decreasing the likelihood of substance use among Hispanic adolescents.
PMCID: PMC3739280  PMID: 19384604
Acculturation; Hispanic; Adolescence; Cigarette smoking; Tobacco; Alcohol; Drugs

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