Center for Latino Health Research Opportunities (CLaRO)

Sanchez, M., De La Rosa, M., Blackson, T. C., Sastre, F., Rojas, P., Li, T., & Dillon, F. (2014). Pre- to post-immigration alcohol use trajectories among recent Latino immigrants. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors28(4), 990.

The Recent Latino Immigrant Study was the first community-based study to examine the pre- to post-immigration alcohol use trajectories of young adult recent Latino immigrants during their first 3 years in the United States.  Retrospective pre-immigration data was collected at baseline from a sample of 455 Cuban, South American and Central American Latinos ages 18–34 who immigrated to the U.S. less than one year prior. Two follow-up assessments (12 months apart) reported on their post-immigration alcohol use in the past 90 days. Seventy-three percent of participants were documented immigrants, whereas 27% were undocumented. Results challenged current understanding of pre- to post-immigration alcohol use trajectories of Latino immigrants. Rather than indicating typical patterns of increased alcohol use among women (and little change in men) over time, our findings revealed decreases in alcohol use for authorized (but not unauthorized) men with no significant change in women. This study contributes to the limited knowledge on alcohol use patterns of Latinos before and after immigrating to the US and provided direction for future research identifying sociocultural determinants associated with distinct alcohol use trajectories in this population.