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Monday, May 7, 2012

The Hispanic Americans baseline alcohol survey (HABLAS): The association between acculturation, birthplace and alcohol consumption across Hispanic nat

Acculturation to U.S. society has been associated with an increase in drinking and binge drinking among Hispanics. This paper examines the association between acculturation and three drinking-related outcomes: average number of drinks consumed, binge drinking, and drinking 12 drinks or more in a single day in four major Hispanic national groups. The 2006 Hispanic Americans Baseline Alcohol Survey used a multistage cluster sample design to interview 5,224 adult Hispanics (18 + years) in five selected U.S. metropolitan areas: Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, and Los Angeles.

The four national groups interviewed were: Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, Mexican Americans, and South/Central Americans. The survey response rate was 76%. Data on drinking behavior were collected and the analyses include bivariate and multivariate regression techniques.

Multivariate analysis did not show an association between acculturation and volume of drinking, binge drinking, or drinking 12 or more drinks in a single day among men. Acculturation stress, however, was associated with drinking 12 or more in a day among men. Among women, high acculturation was associated with a higher volume of drinking, and it also interacted with national group to increase the likelihood of binge drinking. Acculturation does not have a homogeneous effect on drinking across gender and Hispanic national groups.

The results confirm that acculturation has a more consistent association with increased drinking and binge drinking among women than among men. The effect of acculturation is therefore gender-specific.

This heterogeneity across Hispanic national groups must be considered in future research, treatment, and prevention efforts.

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