Potential Cultural Predictors of Heavy Episodic Drinking in Hispanic College Students

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Heavy alcohol use in college students is a serious health risk. It is unclear how cultural variables impact alcohol use in Hispanic college populations. Here, the relationships between gender, bicultural identity, familism, and adherence to traditional gender roles with heavy episodic drinking (HED) in a Hispanic college sample are assessed. Participants, 80 males and 80 females, were asked to complete a questionnaire packet, which assessed demographic information, as well as measures designed to rate drinking amount and frequency, bicultural integration, familism, and traditional gender role adherence. Average age of the sample was 19.9 years (SD = 3.05), in which the majority of participants were classified as either Freshmen or Sophomores (88.8%). Overall, 47.5% of participants reported engaging in HED, with 51% of men and 44% of women reporting HED. Univariate analyses along with logistic regression were utilized to assess possible differences and correlates of HED. Neither individual predictors nor the overall model were statistically significant. These findings suggest the need for continued assessment of HED in Hispanic college students using other culturally based constructs, as well as psychosocial factors that are found to predict heavy drinking in other ethnocultural college-aged students. (Am J Addict 2012;00:1-5)

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