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A Structural Model of Alcohol Use Pathways Among Latino Youth

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Objectives : To determine the pathways to alcohol use among adolescents.

Methods : A cross-sectional study of risk and protective factors among a sample of Latino youth (aged 11- 13) was conducted.

Results : Peer norms and school connectedness had direct pathways to alcohol use. Self-concept was related to peer norms. Youth who were less acculturated were more likely to believe that their peers drank. Family monitoring, connectedness, and academic support did not have direct pathways to alcohol use.

Conclusions : Peer norms appear critical in shaping adolescent involvement with alcohol. The protective influence of family and academic support appear to be indirect.

Keywords: Latino; adolescents; alcohol; peer norms

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 PhD candidate, Research Assistant, Department of Public and Community Health, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

Publication date: March 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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