The Hispanic Americans Baseline Alcohol Survey (HABLAS): the association between birthplace, acculturation and alcohol abuse and dependence across Hispanic national groups

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2009 Jan 1;99(1-3):215-21. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2008.08.011. Epub 2008 Oct 21.


Hispanics are heterogeneous in national origin, evidenced by wide ranges of alcohol abuse and dependence rates across different Hispanic national groups. This paper examines associations between 12-month rates of DSM-IV alcohol abuse and dependence with birthplace and acculturation. The 2006 Hispanic Americans Baseline Alcohol Survey, using a multistage cluster sample design, interviewed 5224 adults (18+ years) in five selected U.S. metropolitan areas: Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, and Los Angeles. Comprehensive data on drinking behavior were collected and the analyses include bivariate and multivariate regression techniques. Alcohol abuse and dependence rates were higher among U.S.-born Puerto Ricans and South/Central Americans compared to their foreign-born counterparts, while no such differences were found for Cuban and Mexican Americans. Overall, those with higher acculturation report higher rates of abuse and dependence (statistically significant only for abuse among Puerto Ricans). Risk factors for abuse include being male and being in the high acculturation group. Risk factors for dependence include being male, being Puerto Rican or Mexican American, having less than a college education, and being U.S.-born. Hispanics were found to share several common risk factors with the larger U.S. population for abuse and dependence, such as male gender, lower education, and lower income.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Central America / ethnology
  • Education
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • South America / ethnology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult