Understanding risk factors for alcohol use among young people in different countries with different drinking norms can illuminate protective factors and help understand drinking patterns of immigrants. The overall goal of this project is to improve understanding of alcohol-related risk and protective factors that influence drinking patterns and have the potential to play a positive role in preventive interventions. The project represents a continuation of our efforts to identify risk related and protective cultural factors that influence drinking patterns. The research will investigate patterns of alcohol use including alcohol related risk behavior and protective factors, cultural attributes that may modify or prevent the likelihood of risk taking, among entering first year university students in Mexico City, the largest urban area in Mexico, and will indicate whether specific cultural factors affect beliefs and behaviors about alcohol use. This proposal responds to the NIAAA Five Year Strategic Plan focus on the similarities and differences in drinking behaviors of young people from different racial and ethnic sub-populations. This is a timely study, as it addresses drinking behaviors of young people at the age at which periodic or high-risk drinking is greatest as well as factors that allow some young adults to discontinue harmful drinking patterns. The findings will have practical implications for prevention programs for both Mexican youths and Mexican American and other ethnic groups of young people in the U.S. across immigration and acculturation status. Our conceptual approach is informed by a growing body of work suggesting that traditional values act to protect against alcohol use disorders among Mexican American adults, and recommending future work be focused on the protective impact of Mexican cultural factors on alcohol use among Mexican Americans and culture-specific norms pertaining to alcohol use. We will investigate influences on drinking patterns, problems and protections using a mixed method approach. The research design calls for (a) ethnographic interviews to explore the influence of the Mexican drinking culture with 30 each occasional, regular, heavy and non drinkers identified from a wellness survey and alcohol survey supplement of approximately 34,000 entering first year university students prior to the start of the freshman year at the National University of Mexico (UNAM) and (b) a revised alcohol survey supplement based on the findings of the ethnographic interviews to assess prevalence and correlates of alcohol use practices. The use of multiple instruments and procedures will allow us to integrate analyses on influential mechanisms and discover new ones not yet described in the literature. Drawing upon findings and theory from both our and others'previous work, we seek to identify the effects of cultural factors on early alcohol use among Mexican and Mexican American youths. The findings from this project will lead to a better understanding of factors and settings that influence drinking norms and behavior of Mexican youths and provide guidelines for the development of culturally relevant prevention programs for Mexican youths and may be applicable for Mexican American youths and other young people in the U.S.

Public Health Relevance

This research will inform the development of interventions addressing the NIAAA Five Year Strategic Plan (2006) focus on the similarities and differences in drinking behaviors of young people from different racial and ethnic sub-populations. It also addresses the drinking behaviors of young people at the age at which periodic or high-risk drinking is greatest as well as factors that allow some young adults to discontinue harmful drinking patterns.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01AA018149-03
Application #
8299174
Study Section
Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB)
Program Officer
Arroyo, Judith A
Project Start
2010-09-25
Project End
2014-06-30
Budget Start
2012-07-01
Budget End
2013-06-30
Support Year
3
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$347,266
Indirect Cost
$114,801
Name
Boston University
Department
Social Sciences
Type
Schools of Public Health
DUNS #
604483045
City
Boston
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02118
Strunin, Lee; Diaz Martinez, Alejandro; Diaz-Martinez, L Rosa et al. (2013) Parental monitoring and alcohol use among Mexican students. Addict Behav 38:2601-6