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Correlates of alcohol and tobacco use among Mexican immigrants

Sharon Loury, RN, PhD, School of Nursing: Department of Family and Community Nursing, East Carolina University, Rivers Building, Greenville, NC 27858-4353, (252) 328 -1217, Lourys@mail.ecu.edu

While research related to alcohol and tobacco use among Hispanics has expanded within the last 15 years, a clear understanding of those factors that predict alcohol and tobacco use within this population does not exist. Some studies suggest that acculturation has been positively associated with alcohol and tobacco use, however it may be a combination of factors that contribute to this health risk behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship among sociodemographic, cultural, and psychological factors associated with alcohol and tobacco use among Mexican immigrants in rural eastern North Carolina. A non-probability convenience sampling plan targeted 173 adult Mexican American immigrants at community-based sites throughout eastern North Carolina. Pen and paper questionnaires were administered in person. Measures included sociodemographic items, pre-immigration and current alcohol and tobacco use, level of acculturation, and stress factors (occupational/economic, family/cultural, immigration, and marital). Linear regression analyses were conducted to determine predictors for alcohol and tobacco use. Significant predictors for alcohol use were gender (p=.000), pre-immigration use (p=.001), and occupational/economic stress (p=.05). The most significant predictor of tobacco use was pre-immigration use (p=.05). This study provides evidence that gender differences, stress, and pre-immigration use partially explain current alcohol use among Mexican American immigrants; tobacco use is partially explained by pre-immigration use. The study findings suggest that the use of alcohol and tobacco among Mexican immigrants may not be the direct result of behaviors learned from acculturating into American society and provides the basis for further exploration of this phenomenon.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, the participant will be able to

Keywords: Latino Health, Health Risks

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.


The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA