Online Program

Si no hay bebidas, no hay fiesta: A qualitative exploration of alcohol use among immigrant sexual minority latinos in North Carolina

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jorge Alonzo, JD, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Cindy Wilks, BA, Consultant, ArteSanar, Inc, Durham, NC
Clare Barrington, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Stacy Duck, BS, Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina, Raleigh, NC
Lea Salas Córdova, MA, MS, Consultant, Durham, NC
Krista Perreira, PhD, Public Policy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Ted Mouw, PhD, Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Scott Rhodes, PhD, MPH, CHES, Div of Public Health Sciences/Dept of Social Sciences & Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Eugenia Eng, MPH, DrPH, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Background: Little is known about alcohol use among sexual minority Latinos, a sub-group that includes gay men, men who have sex with men who do not self-identify as gay, and gender variant or transgender men. Because recent research in North Carolina suggested high levels of risky drinking among sexual minority Latinos, we sought to better understand the factors shaping alcohol use.

Methods: Using grounded theory methods, we conducted semi-structured interviews in Spanish or English with 15 sexual minority Latinos. We identified themes, explored relationships, and developed a conceptual model of alcohol use in this population. We maximized credibility by asking 4 participants and 3 key informants to review and respond to our findings.

Results: Our conceptual model included life course and contextual determinants of alcohol use. Participants characterized drinking as a fundamentally social activity and an important part of many social interactions and celebrations. While most men acknowledged that some Latinos may drink to cope with stressors, few identified it as a personal coping strategy. Alcohol use was linked to pro-drinking family norms during childhood, cultural expectations for alcohol use, and socializing with other sexual minority Latinos. Drinking was discouraged by religiosity, witnessing negative alcohol-related outcomes among family members, increasing age, and potential legal consequences, such as police involvement and the risk of deportation.

Discussion: Our findings provide a fuller understanding of alcohol use among sexual minority Latinos, a vulnerable sub-group about whom little is known. We identify factors that could be leveraged for novel risk-reduction interventions.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify life course and contextual factors that affect drinking patterns. Explain how such life course and contextual factors could be used for risk-reduction interventions. Discuss how study findings may be transferable to other Latino populations.

Keyword(s): Hispanic, Gay Men

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conceived the study and conducted the research as part of my dissertation project.
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.