Hispanic adolescents seem to be at greater risk for alcohol use; a greater understanding of the factors that predict alcohol use among Hispanic youth is needed. Social influences to drink and other problem behaviors often predict adolescent alcohol use. However, most past research has concentrated on samples of predominantly white adolescents residing in suburban areas.
To determine which demographic factors, social influences, and problem behaviors are associated with alcohol use among Hispanic adolescents and to eludicate the difference in the origins of alcohol use depending on sex.
Middle schools in New York City.
This study focuses on 1410 adolescents in grade 7 from inner-city schools who identified themselves as Hispanic at the baseline assessment of an investigation of alcohol and other drug use.
Main Outcome Measures
Alcohol initiation, alcohol consumption, and future drinking.
The findings showed that social influences to drink and reported problem behaviors were associated with alcohol use across and within sex groups. In particular, friends' drinking was related to alcohol initiation, consumption, and plans to drink in the future across sexes and within both sex groups. Other predictors (mother's drinking, siblings' drinking, ease of obtaining alcohol, deviance, cigarette smoking, and marijuana use) exhibited sex-specific effects.
These findings lend support to teaching social resistance skills to improve Hispanic adolescents' ability to resist social influences to drink and use other drugs.