The Role of Acculturation and Enculturation on Alcohol Consumption among Hispanic College Students in Late Adolescence

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Cano, Miguel Ángel
Alcohol; Hispanic; Acculturation; Enculturation; Adolescences
thesis / dissertation description
This dissertation presents a comprehensive literature review of the acculturation process and describes the following aspects: constructs, theoretical models, measurement instruments, limitation in research, and an emphasis on the acculturation process and its proposed relationship with alcohol consumption among Hispanics. Included are also findings from an study conducted on the relationship between the acculturation process and hazardous alcohol use among 180 Hispanic college students in late adolescences. Final results from the study were obtained using a path analysis, a confirmatory approach to test hypothesis. Evaluation indices suggest the path analysis had good model fit, CFI, RMSEA and SRMR (1.00, 0.001, and .02, respectively). In regard to the first hypothesis, data show that behavioral enculturation was a statistically significant (beta = .69, p < .05) predictor of greater alcohol consumption. Further, moderation analyses indicate that behavioral enculturation (beta = .59, p < .05) was a greater risk factor of alcohol use for men than women. Regarding hypothesis two and three, acculturative stress, intragroup marginalization, and depression did not mediate the indirect influence of acculturation and enculturation on alcohol use. However, higher scores of enculturation were associated to greater acculturative stress and higher score of acculturation were related to greater intragroup marginalization. In turn both acculturative stress and intragroup marginalization were statistically significant predictors of depression. In all, the model accounted for 31 percent of the variance in depression and 20 percent in alcohol consumption. In view of these results, interventions should be designed to target segments of the Hispanic populations that are likely to be enculturated. Further, interventions should consider introducing gender socialization differences regarding attitudes toward alcohol use that directly attending to the moderating role of gender. Given that data also indicate that pressure from both the heritage culture and dominant culture may increase the risk of depression, mental health providers should be attune to these effects of the acculturation process to help adolescents negotiate expectations of both cultures. Lastly, interventions for alcohol use and depression may incorporate family effectiveness training, to attend to differential acculturation as a systemic family issue that needs to be addressed at the family interactional level.