Online Program

Substance use offers among adolescents living in Mexico: Exploring the impact of romantic relationships on gender differences

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jaime Booth, MSW, Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Flavio Marsiglia, PhD, School of Social Work, College of Public Programs, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Bertha Nuno-Gutiérrez, PhD, Instituto Mexicano Del Seguro Social, University of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Maria Garcia Perez, PhD, School of Transborder Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Gender differences in the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs in Mexico are rapidly disappearing (Villatoro et al., 2005). Survey findings suggest that this may be a function of substance offers and availability (Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, 2008). This paper explores those trends from a local perspective, focusing on the experiences of a group of adolescents (N=432) in Guadalajara-Jalisco. The overall hypothesis leading the study is that adolescents engaged in a romantic relationship will report more frequent substance use offers. It is further hypothesized that this association is moderated by gender. OLS regressions were estimated, predicting substance offers and separately predicting substance use offers from specific people. The results of this study show that the association between being in a relationship and receiving alcohol and other drugs offers is significantly stronger for girls than for boys. The results indicate that in the absences of having ever been in a relationship girls report less offers then boys but that girls reports of substance use offers surpass the boys when they report having been in one or more relationships. Although it is unclear if substance use offers are happing within the romantic relationship itself, the findings indicate and that engaging in romantic relationship may be a risk factor for substance use for females. These findings suggest that shifting gender roles that communicate more permissive dating norms may need to be accompanied with prevention messages that empower females by teaching strategies to respond to substance use offers.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe gender differences in substance use behaviors and norms, specifically substance use offers, among adolescents living in Mexico and the possible role of engaging in romantic relationships Discuss how understanding the interaction of gender roles and substance offers among Mexican adolescents may inform relevant interventions for first generation Latinos in the US

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Latinos

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Under the direction of Flavio Marsiglia I have been trained in data analysis and culturally competent research methods. I am in the third year of my doctoral education and have participated in numerous research projects investing culturally grounded substance abuse prevention for Latino youth. In the proposed research paper I took the lead constructing the research hypothesis, analyzing the data and drafting the manuscript.
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.