Pre-to postimmigration alcohol use trajectories among recent latino immigrants

Mariana Sanchez, Mario De La Rosa, Timothy C. Blackson, Francisco Sastre, Patria Rojas, Tan Li, Frank Dillon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The escalation of alcohol use among some Latino immigrant groups as their time in the United States increases has been well documented. Yet, little is known about the alcohol use behaviors of Latino immigrants before immigration. This prospective longitudinal study examines pre-to postimmigration alcohol use trajectories among a cohort of recent Latino immigrants. Retrospective preimmigration data were collected at baseline from a sample of 455 Cuban, South American, and Central American Latinos ages 18-34 who immigrated to the United States less than 1 year prior. Two follow-up assessments (12 months apart) reported on their postimmigration alcohol use in the past 90 days. We hypothesized (a) overall declines in pre-to postimmigration alcohol among recent Latino immigrants and (b) gender/documentation specific effects, with higher rates of alcohol use among males and undocumented participants compared to their female and documented counterparts. Growth curve analyses revealed males had higher levels of preimmigration alcohol use with steeper declines in postimmigration alcohol use compared to females. Declines in alcohol use frequency were observed for documented, but not undocumented males. No changes in pre-to postimmigration alcohol use were found for documented or undocumented females. This study contributes to the limited knowledge of pre-to postimmigration alcohol use patterns among Latinos in the United States. Future research is needed to identify social determinants associated with the alcohol use trajectories of recent Latino immigrants, as it may inform prediction, prevention, and treatment of problem-drinking behaviors among the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)990-999
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol use
  • Documentation status
  • Immigration
  • Latino
  • Timeline followback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Pre-to postimmigration alcohol use trajectories among recent latino immigrants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this