This study examines the psychometric properties of alcohol expectancies among Hispanic subgroups.
Face-to-face interviews were conducted as part of the 2006 Hispanic Americans Baseline Alcohol Survey (HABLAS), which employed a multistage cluster sample design. A total of 5,224 individuals (18 + years of age) representing four Hispanic national groups (Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, Mexican Americans, and South/Central Americans) were selected at random from the household population in five metropolitan areas (Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, and Los Angeles).
Alcohol expectancies included 18 items covering positive (e.g., laugh more, become more talkative) and negative dimensions (e.g., become aggressive, lose control) when alcohol is consumed.
Confirmatory factor models replicated a previously proposed three-factor dimensional structure with a substantial majority of items exhibiting measurement invariance across Hispanic national group and gender.
Items covering social extroversion were an exception, showing a lack of invariance for female Cuban and South/Central Americans.
Latent mean differences across groups were detected for expectancies concerning emotional fluidity, and the pattern of differences largely mirrored known differences in alcohol consumption patterns.
Results suggest that caution should be exercised in interpreting differences in expectancies concerning social extroversion across Hispanic groups, and additional work is needed to identify indices of this construct with invariant measurement properties.
However, measures of emotional/behavioral impairment and emotional fluidity expectancies can be validly compared across gender and Hispanic national groups.