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Psychol Rep. 2003 Dec;93(3 Pt 1):859-66.

A mediational model of the relationship between linguistic acculturation and polydrug use among Hispanic adolescents.

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Institute for Prevention Research, Department of Public Health, Cornell University, Weill Medical College, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Hispanic seventh and eighth graders (N=1,038) in 22 New York City middle or junior high schools completed self-report questionnaires with items related to drug use (cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and marijuana use), linguistic acculturation (language use with parents), perceived peer smoking norms, perceived peer drinking norms, and psychological distress. Students who spoke English with their parents and bilingual students who spoke English and Spanish with their parents engaged in greater polydrug use than those who spoke Spanish with their parents. Bilingual students perceived that a higher proportion of their peers drink than those who spoke Spanish with their parents, and this higher perception of their peers' drinking was associated with greater polydrug use controlling for linguistic acculturation. In the final model, linguistic acculturation was no longer significant and peer drinking norms predicted polydrug use, peer drinking norms mediated the relationship between linguistic acculturation and polydrug use, but not peer smoking norms and psychological distress.

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