Because U.S. Mexicans demonstrate elevated risks of experiencing alcohol related problems, there is a need for intervention and prevention efforts that are both competently designed and culturally appropriate for this target group. These concerns motivate the three research questions of this study: 1) What are the relative contributions of acculturation, socialization, and community influences on drinking patterns and related problems for U.S. Mexicans? 2) How do both leaders and residents of U.S. Mexican communities perceive the prevalence of alcohol-related problems and what do they identify as effective prevention strategies? 3) To what degree do prevention programs need to be adapted or """"""""customized"""""""" to meet the needs and characteristics of specific communities? To answer these three questions, the proposed project consists of the following research tasks carried out in two purposively selected research sites: (1) An ethnographic study of community drinking patterns which focuses on major institutional sectors of the community. The ethnography includes a study of informal community leaders and formal community """"""""elites"""""""" eliciting their perspectives on the type and prevalence of alcohol related problems and prevention strategies relevant for U.S. Mexicans in their community; and (2) Household interviews with 400 randomly sampled U.S. Mexican residents of each site concerning the respondent's drinking patterns and behaviors, the prevalence of drinking-related social problems, the social contexts of drinking events, and resident's assessment of the effectiveness of prevention programs, both actual and proposed. In summary, the research collects qualitative, archival, and quantitative survey data on drinking behaviors, beliefs, and social networks of community residents and local community leaders in order to first assess the relative weight of individual, contextual, and community factors and then relate these findings to the design, implementation, and management of local alcohol prevention programs and policies. The project's findings will have significance for alcohol researchers, prevention and treatment professionals, community advocacy groups, and to U. S. Mexicans in communities where high risk drinking takes place.
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