Alcohol-related problem behaviors among Latin American immigrants in the US

Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Michael G. Vaughn, Trenette Clark Goings, Daniel P. Miller, Jina Chang, Seth J. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Prior research indicates that Latino immigrants are less likely than US-born individuals to use alcohol and meet criteria for an alcohol use disorder. However, our understanding of alcohol-related problem behaviors among Latino immigrants remains limited. We report the prevalence of alcohol-related problem behaviors among Latino immigrants vis-à-vis the US-born and examine the relationship between alcohol-related problem behavior and key migration-related factors and injury/receipt of emergency medical care. Methods: The data source used for the present study is the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC-III, 2012–2013), a nationally representative survey of 36,309 civilian, non-institutionalized adults ages 18 and older in the US. Logistic regression was employed to examine the relationship between immigrant status and key outcomes. Results: Foreign-born Latinos were less likely to report one or more alcohol-related problems compared to US-born Latinos (AOR = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.33–0.50) and the US-born general population (AOR = 0.38, 95% CI = 0.32–0.46). Latino immigrants arriving as children were, compared to those arriving later in life, significantly more likely to report alcohol-related problem behaviors, and experiences of discrimination were linked with greater risk of alcohol-related problem behavior as well. Latino immigrants reporting recurrent injury/emergency medical care utilization were more likely to report alcohol-related problem behavior. Conclusions: Latino immigrants are significantly less likely than US-born Latinos and the US-born general population to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, take part in risky behaviors or fight while drinking, or to be arrested due to alcohol consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-213
Number of pages8
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Author Note: This research was supported in part by grant number R25 DA030310 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health and by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health, through BU-CTSI Grant Number 1KL2TR001411. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Alcohol-related problem behaviors among Latin American immigrants in the US'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this