Acculturation and binge drinking: Structural influence of friendship networks on Mexican American youth


Martinez, Craig; M; Roche, Kathleen; & M (2008). Acculturation and binge drinking: Structural influence of friendship networks on Mexican American youth. 2008 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD.


Background: Although acculturation is associated with binge drinking among Mexican American youth, little is known about potential mechanisms of this association. Drawing from peer influence research, the present study explores the mediating role of friendship networks in the association between acculturation and binge drinking among Mexican American youth. Methods: Data for this study derive from Waves I and II of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The sample selected includes 677 9th 11th grade Mexican American respondents. The dependent variable is past year binge drinking at Wave II. The main independent variables include Spanish speaking, nativity and attributes of friendship networks. Lagged ordered logistic regression analyses were used to predict changes in binge drinking at Wave II controlling for use at Wave I. Results: Bivariate findings indicate lower levels of binge drinking are associated with Spanish speaking, having female friends and friendship networks characterized by less alcohol use. Further, Spanish speaking youth are more likely to have more racially homogenous and less alcohol using friendship networks than English speaking youth. Multivariate ordered logistic regression indicates that friendship networks characterized by greater density and less alcohol use are associated with lower levels of binge drinking. Spanish speaking is no longer associated with binge drinking after including friendship variables. Further analyses will examine if friendship networks mediate associations between Spanish speaking and binge drinking. Conclusions: Characteristics of friendship networks may mediate associations between acculturation and binge drinking, which can be used to enhance efficacy of prevention programs targeting Mexican American youth.


Reference Type

Conference proceeding

Book Title

2008 Add Health Users Conference


Martinez, Craig
Roche, Kathleen

Year Published


City of Publication

Bethesda, MD

Reference ID