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Alcohol Alcohol. 1992 May;27(3):293-308.

Acculturation and drinking patterns among U.S. Anglos, blacks, and Mexican Americans.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio 78284-7792.


The relationship between acculturation, generational status/nativity and drinking patterns is examined using data from a 1988 community survey of 1286 adult regular drinkers (at least two drinks/month) in San Antonio, Texas. This sample includes 412 Anglo, 239 Black, and 635 Mexican American respondents, with Mexican Americans further classified into high, medium, and low acculturation groups using a language-use-based acculturation measure. This data set allows comparisons between racial/ethnic majority and minority groups with further comparisons between Black and Mexican American subgroups. These racial/ethnic and acculturation level comparisons highlight the effects of minority status and cultural differences between groups with regard to drinking patterns. Overall, the analyses indicate little evidence to support an 'acculturation stress' model of alcohol use, wherein the stresses of acculturation produce higher levels of alcohol consumption among moderately or higher acculturation groups. Generally, in our data, quantity and frequency consumption was somewhat higher among the least acculturated males and moderately acculturated females. Further analyses by generational status indicate heavier consumption patterns among second-generation individuals, especially among the less acculturated, though those differences were eliminated by controls. The findings highlight inadequacies of using generational status/nativity measures alone to assess acculturation level. Further, joint effects of acculturation level and generational status suggest the viability of a cultural marginality model of acculturation, though many of the effects of acculturation and generational status are explained by demographic and psychosocial factors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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