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J Sch Health. 2020 Feb;90(2):99-106. doi: 10.1111/josh.12860. Epub 2019 Dec 8.

Gender Differences in Socio-ecological Determinants of Alcohol Use Among Hispanic Adolescents.

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Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Stanislaus, One University Circle, Turlock, CA.
Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, Blocker Bldg., Office 332C, College Station, TX.
Department of Health Promotion and Education, University of Cincinnati, Teachers College 460NC, Cincinnati, OH.
Department of Health Promotion and Education, University of Cincinnati, 2160 McMicken Circle, Cincinnati, OH.
Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, 2001 N. Soto Street, SSB 302W, Los Angeles, CA.



Compared to other racial groups, Hispanic/Latino(a) adolescents experience higher rates of alcohol (ab)use and alcohol-related problems. Evidence suggests there are gender differences in alcohol use patterns indicating the likelihood of gender differences in how various determinants influence alcohol use among the genders. Assessing the mechanisms that contribute to Hispanic adolescents' alcohol use requires an understanding of the multidimensional social and environmental processes that operate together to impact their alcohol use. In this study, we examined socio-ecological determinants of Hispanic adolescent alcohol use by gender.


Data from 10th grade Hispanic/Latino(a) students (N = 781) from four high schools in Los Angeles were used to examine associations between socio-ecological characteristics and adolescent alcohol use by gender.


Overall, 37.5% of participants reported past 30-day alcohol use. Among boys, alcohol use was associated with intrapersonal (not qualifying for reduced lunch), interpersonal (mother's education and peer drinking), and institutional (alcohol-prone school club membership) determinants. Among girls, alcohol use was associated with intrapersonal (academic achievement) and interpersonal (parent and peer alcohol use behavior) determinants.


Prevention and intervention efforts need to take into consideration the gender differences in social-ecological risk and protective factors when designing educational or intervention programs and services targeted at Hispanic adolescents. This is crucial to addressing multi-component factors that influence their substance use behavior.


adolescent; alcohol use; high school; sex differences; socio-ecological


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