Alcohol use among recent immigrant Latino/a youth: acculturation, gender, and the Theory of Reasoned Action

Elma I. Lorenzo-Blanco, Seth J. Schwartz, Jennifer B. Unger, Byron L. Zamboanga, Sabrina E. Des Rosiers, Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Shi Huang, Juan A. Villamar, Daniel Soto, Monica Pattarroyo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective. Latino/a youth are at risk for alcohol use. This risk seems to rise with increasing US cultural orientation and decreasing Latino cultural orientation, especially among girls. To ascertain how acculturation may influence Latino/a youth alcohol use, we integrated an expanded multi-domain model of acculturation with the Theory of Reasoned Action. Design. Participants were 302 recent Latino/a immigrant youth (141 girls, 160 boys; 152 from Miami, 150 from Los Angeles) who completed surveys at 4 time points. Youth completed measures of acculturation, attitudes toward drinking, perceived subjective norms regarding alcohol use, intention to drink, and alcohol use. Results. Structural equation modeling indicated that collectivistic values predicted more perceived disapproval of drinking, which negatively predicted intention to drink. Intention to drink predicted elevated alcohol use. Conclusion. Although the association between collectivistic values and social disapproval of drinking was relatively small (β =.19, p <.05), findings suggest that collectivistic values may help protect Latino/a immigrant youth from alcohol use by influencing their perceived social disapproval of drinking, leading to lower intention to drink. Educational preventive interventions aimed at reducing or preventing alcohol use in recent Latino/a immigrant youth could promote collectivistic values and disseminate messages about the negative consequences of drinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-627
Number of pages19
JournalEthnicity and Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Acculturation
  • Latino/a youth
  • Theory of Reasoned Action
  • alcohol use
  • gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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