Alcohol initiation among recently immigrated hispanic adolescents: Roles of acculturation and sociocultural stress

Alan Meca, Byron L. Zamboanga, P. Priscilla Lui, Seth J. Schwartz, Elma I. Lorenzo-Blanco, Melinda A. Gonzales-Backen, Miguel ángel Cano, José Szapocznik, Daniel W. Soto, Jennifer B. Unger, Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Richie Kubilus, Juan A. Villamar, Karina M. Lizzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


There is a growing recognition for the need for research to explore the unique and interactive effects of acculturation and sociocultural stress on alcohol initiation. Building on this research agenda, the current study sought to explore the independent and interactive effects of acculturation (i.e., heritage and U.S. cultural practices and identification) and sociocultural stress (i.e., perceived discrimination, perceived context of reception, and bicultural stress) on alcohol initiation among recently immigrated Hispanic adolescents. Data were taken from a 6-wave longitudinal study with 302 recently immigrated Hispanic adolescents (53% boys; Mage = 14.51 years at baseline; range = 14-17 years) and their families. Discrete-time survival models indicated that none of the acculturation indicators directly predicted alcohol initiation. Sociocultural stress-and specifically, bicultural stress- predicted alcohol initiation. There were significant interactions between acculturation and sociocultural stress in predicting alcohol initiation. Further research considering multiple components of acculturation and sociocultural stressors is needed to broaden our understanding of the potential role of sociocultural processes in alcohol initiation among Hispanic youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-578
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2019


  • Acculturation
  • Adolescent
  • Alcohol use
  • Hispanic
  • Sociocultural stressors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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