Intracultural Accusations of Assimilation and Alcohol Use Severity Among Hispanic Emerging Adults: Moderating Effects of Acculturation, Enculturation, and Gender


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Abstract

Individuals, including Hispanics, tend to drink most heavily during emerging adulthood (ages 18–25 years old). Research has suggested that intercultural stressors (e.g., ethnic discrimination) may increase levels of alcohol use among Hispanics. However, the relationship between intracultural stressors (e.g., accusations of assimilation—when Hispanics accuse a member of their heritage group of acculturating to U.S. culture) and alcohol use has been examined to a lesser extent. Accordingly, the present study aimed to (a) examine the association between family accusations of assimilation and alcohol use severity; and (b) examine if acculturation domains, enculturation domains, and gender moderated that association. A hierarchical multiple regression and moderation analyses were conducted on a cross-sectional sample of 181 Hispanic emerging adults. Results indicated that higher family accusations of assimilation were associated with higher levels of alcohol use severity (β = .18, p < .05), and all variables entered in the model accounted for ΔR2 = 15.1% of the variance of alcohol use severity. A moderation analysis indicated that higher family accusations of assimilation were associated with higher alcohol use severity among men, but not women. Of the four acculturation/enculturation domains, none had a moderation effect. However, there was a statistically significant three-way interaction among family accusations of assimilation, gender, and affective enculturation. This three-way interaction suggests that among men, higher family accusations of assimilation were associated with higher alcohol use severity at lower levels of affective enculturation. This study addresses a literature gap on intracultural stressors and substance use among Hispanics, and discusses recommendations for future research.

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