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Studies Focus on Acculturation and Hispanic Youth

February 01, 2007
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U.S.-Born Hispanic Women Have More Drug Problems Than Immigrants

Among 19- to 21-year-old Hispanic women in South Florida, those born in the United States face a higher risk of drug addiction than immigrants, according to a recent study by Dr. R. Jay Turner and colleagues. The U.S.-born women reported more acculturation, measured as preference for English over Spanish, and greater exposure to stressful events, both of which were associated with increased risk for addiction. The gap in acculturation between the two groups accounted for 40 percent of the risk difference; a high score on either acculturation or stress exposure was associated with a nearly three-fold increase in the odds of addiction, compared with low scores on those measures (evaluated at one standard deviation above and below average). The investigators speculate that cultural influences help protect foreign-born Hispanic young women from stress. Native-born and immigrant young men reported similar levels of stress exposure and had similar rates of addiction.

Drug and Alcohol Dependence 83(1):79-89, 2006. [Abstract]

Latino Parent Training

Men and women who completed a parent-training program adapted for Latino culture reported improvements in effective parenting practices and their children's (aged 13 years, on average) behavior compared with those who did not receive the intervention. Children whose parents received the program also reported that they were less likely to abuse tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs in the future. The parents also said their children's behavior improved.

Drs. Charles R. Martinez and J. Mark Eddy of the Oregon Social Learning Center randomly assigned 73 Spanish-speaking Latino parents (90 percent were of Mexican heritage) to participate in Nuestras Familias: Andando Entre Culturas (Our Families: Moving Between Cultures) or to receive no intervention. During each of 12 weekly 2.5-hour sessions, participants in the intervention group discussed developing effective family communication, bridging cultures, being positive, and encouraging success using appropriate discipline and limit setting, and practiced parenting techniques in role-play.

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 73(5):841-851, 2005. [Abstract]

This page was last updated February 2007

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