Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

November 2006


Published in Addictive Behaviors 31 (2006), pp. 2188–2198. DOI:10.1016/j.addbeh.2006.02.018 Copyright 2006 Elsevier Ltd. Used by permission.


We examined whether gender moderates the association between acculturation and heavy alcohol use. The sample consisted of 126 Mexican American college students (Mean age = 24.7 years; 57% female) who completed self-report measures of heavy alcohol use, acculturation status (global acculturation and ethnic identity), and relevant control variables (age, peer alcohol use). Multivariable regression revealed that higher levels of ethnic identity were associated with greater frequency of heavy alcohol among men. Conversely, neither measure of acculturation was associated with heavy alcohol use among women. These findings suggest that interventions for Latino/a students should consider the role of culturally relevant variables in heavy alcohol use, particularly for men. They also have implications regarding how acculturation is operationalized in alcohol studies, and suggest directions for future research.