Retrospective pre-immigration data on sexual risk and alcohol use behaviours was collected from 527 recent Latino immigrants to the USA, aged 18-34. Two follow-up assessments (12 months apart) reported on post-immigration behaviours. Using a mixed model growth curve analysis, a six-level sexual risk change variable was constructed combining measures of sexual partners and condom use. The mixed model growth curve was also used to examine associations between changes in sexual risk behaviour and changes in alcohol use and for testing interaction effects of gender and documentation status. Results suggest that individuals with high sexual risk behaviour at pre-immigration converge to low/moderate risk post-immigration, and that those who were sexually inactive or had low sexual risk at pre-immigration increased their risk post-immigration. Individuals with moderately higher initial but decreasing sexual risk behaviour showed the steepest decline in alcohol use, but their drinking at Time 3 was still higher than individuals reporting low sexual risk at Time 1. On average, men drank more than women, except women in one of the highest sexual risk categories at Time 1 - who seemed to drink as much, if not more, than men. Undocumented men reported more frequent drinking than documented men. In contrast, undocumented women reported lower alcohol use than documented women.
Keywords: Latino immigrants; USA; alcohol use; pre- to post-immigration trajectories; sexual risk behaviour.