The proposed study will investigate alcohol consumption among a sub-group of Latino men in the Southeast US who may be subject to discrimination along multiple dimensions. In response to social stressors, these Latino men may turn to alcohol as a coping strategy, however social support may reduce exposure to stressors or improve coping responses. Given the health-damaging effects of heavy alcohol consumption, as well as the association of alcohol use with other risky behaviors such as violence, motor-vehicle crashes, and risky sexual behaviors, research is needed to understand patterns of alcohol use in this population. Informed by the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping, Social Support Theory, and available empirical evidence, the specific aims of this study are to: (1) quantify the association of social stressors (e.g. acculturation and experiences of discrimination) with alcohol consumption among a sub-group of Latino men in North Carolina;(2) test whether social support moderates the relationship between social stressors and alcohol consumption;and (3) characterize the social stressors and coping strategies experienced by a sub-group of Latino men in North Carolina. The study will employ a two-part, mixed-methods design. Study 1 will address Aim 1 and Aim 2 via secondary analysis of cross-sectional behavioral data obtained from Latino men in North Carolina (PI: Scott Rhodes, PhD;R21 HD 049282). Although the parent study had a different focus, data are available to investigate social stressors and alcohol use. Study 2 will address Aim 3 via in-depth interviews conducted with an additional sample of Latino men. Using Grounded Theory analysis, a model of coping strategies will be elaborated. Study findings will advance the field of alcohol abuse prevention research by quantifying the effects of social stressors and social support on alcohol use in a particularly marginalized population and by providing greater detail about coping strategies adopted in response to social stressors.

Public Health Relevance

The US Latino population is rapidly growing and there is limited research regarding their alcohol consumption patterns. Findings of this study can inform innovative and culturally- appropriate risk reduction interventions, and will support the Health Disparities Strategic Plan of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
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Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
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Freeman, Robert
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Schools of Public Health
Chapel Hill
United States
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Gilbert, Paul A; Perreira, Krista; Eng, Eugenia et al. (2014) Social stressors and alcohol use among immigrant sexual and gender minority Latinos in a nontraditional settlement state. Subst Use Misuse 49:1365-75
Gilbert, Paul A; Rhodes, Scott D (2013) HIV testing among immigrant sexual and gender minority Latinos in a US region with little historical Latino presence. AIDS Patient Care STDS 27:628-36