Background: Little is known about interpersonal and broader sociocultural factors related to protection from or use of tobacco and alcohol among immigrant adolescents. This study presents the baseline predictors of tobacco and alcohol use and susceptibility to tobacco and alcohol among Hispanic migrant adolescents.
Methods: The sample consisted of 660 Hispanic adolescents (51% male) between the ages of 11 and 16 years enrolled in the Migrant Education Program through the County Office of Education. Slightly more than 75% of the study sample was first generation Hispanics and 79% preferred to speak Spanish. An interviewer-administered survey assessed the following information: standard demographic characteristics, modeling of cigarette smoking (including parental and peer smoking), attitudes (including self-standards and anticipated outcomes), acculturation, communication with parents, amount of social support, and satisfaction with social support.
Results: Significant predictors of susceptibility to tobacco and smoking status included age, gender, attitudes toward cigarettes (e.g., anticipated outcomes, self-standards), satisfaction with social support, and parent-child communication. Factors that were also significant predictors of susceptibility to alcohol and drinking status were age, attitudes toward drinking, satisfaction with social support, and level of parent-child communication. In addition, peer and household use of alcohol predicted adolescent outcomes.
Conclusions: Based on these results it is suggested that tobacco and alcohol prevention efforts for first-generation Hispanic adolescents should target not only usual concerns (e.g., availability, peer pressure, modeling, expectancies), but also parent-child communication.
Copyright 2000 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.