182482 Relative Influence of Perceived Ethnic Discrimination and Acculturation Stress on Substance Use among Latino Youth in the Southwest

Monday, October 27, 2008: 8:30 AM

Stephen S. Kulis, PhD , Sociology, AZ State University, Phoenix, AZ
Flavio Francisco Marsiglia, PhD , Social Work, AZ State University, Phoenix, AZ
Tanya Nieri, PhD , Sociology, AZ State University, Phoenix, AZ
An understanding of health disparities requires the analysis of cultural variables salient to health disparities populations. Using a predominately Mexican-origin Latino sample of 5th grade students from the Southwestern United States, this study examined two such variables, perceived discrimination and acculturation stress, and their relative effects on substance use, as moderated by linguistic acculturation and time in the U.S. Although rates of substance use were generally low in the sample, given the young age of the participants, over half (59%) of the sample perceived some discrimination, and almost half (47%) experienced some acculturation stress. Spanish dominant and bilingual youth perceived more discrimination than English dominant youth whereas youth who have been in the U.S. five or fewer years perceived more discrimination than youth with more time in the U.S. Youth who were Spanish dominant or were recent arrivals experienced the most acculturation stress, with levels declining as linguistic acculturation and time in the U.S. increased. Multiple regression estimates indicated that perceived discrimination was associated with larger amounts and higher frequency of recent substance use, more lifetime substance use, and an array of substance use attitudes such as stronger intentions to use substances, espousal of pro-drug norms, and more positive substance use expectancies. Although acculturation stress was not associated with substance use, it was positively associated with several substance use attitudes, which are known precursors of actual use. With a few exceptions, linguistic acculturation and time in the U.S. did not moderate the effects of perceived discrimination or acculturation stress.

Learning Objectives:
1)Distinguish ethnic discrimination and acculturation stress, in conceptual and measurement terms 2) Compare the relationship of acculturation stress and ethnic discrimination with substance use behaviors and attitudes among Latino youth 3) Test whether the effects of ethnic discrimination and acculturation stress on substance use attitudes and behaviors differ by linguistic acculturation and time in the U.S. 4) Assess the relative distribution of acculturation stress and ethnic discrimination in subgroups of Latino youth

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Substance Abuse

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a professor of sociology and coprincipal investigator of the NIH-funded study from which the presented data come.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.