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Points Bibliography: Ethnic, Racial, and Cultural Contexts of Recovery in North America

Updated: Aug 29

Editor’s Note: These entries are part of an ongoing drug-related dissertation bibliography being compiled by Jonathon Erlen. They were formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but are now periodically featured on the Points blog. For more information, contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

Alcohol Use and Risk Drinking in Ontario Ethnic Groups

Author: Agic, Branka

Abstract: This thesis examines the prevalence and patterns of alcohol consumption among Ontario ethnic groups, as well as socio-demographic and cultural factors that increase or reduce their vulnerability to risk drinking. A mixed methods approach was applied. Qualitative data were obtained through focus group discussions with the key informants and community members from seven Ontario communities: the Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tamil, Punjabi, Serbian and Somali. Quantitative data were derived from the CAMH Monitor, a cross-sectional survey of Ontario adults, collected between January 2005 and December 2010 (N=13,557). The results show higher prevalence of self-reported lifetime, current and risk drinking among the Canadian and the European-origin groups compared with other ethnic groups. Within-group gender differences were evident for all ethnic groups, with the narrowest gender gap being observed within the North European group and the widest in the South Asian group. First generation immigrants have generally lower prevalence of alcohol consumption and risk drinking than Canadian-born respondents, with foreign born individuals from the European groups reporting higher rates of alcohol use and risk drinking than other groups. While previous studies generally found an increase in immigrants’ alcohol consumption with years in Canada, our data suggest that longer duration of residence may have either positive or negative effects on immigrants’ alcohol use, depending on the country of origin/traditional drinking pattern. Although the non-European ethnic groups have higher rates of abstinence and lower alcohol consumption rates, a considerable proportion of people from these ethnic groups may be at risk of alcohol-related harm due to risky and harmful alcohol consumption patterns. Drinking levels that are considered ‘normal’ or ‘excessive’, the type and size of alcoholic beverages, and the perception of the risks and problems related to alcohol use are largely shaped by cultural norms and beliefs. Socio-economic disadvantages and barriers to service utilization heighten the minority ethnic groups’ vulnerability to alcohol-related problems. This theses contributes new and important evidence on the prevalence and patterns of alcohol consumption in Canada’s ethnic groups, and factors that contribute to risk drinking. The findings have significant implications for prevention and service provision, particularly for minority ethnic groups that are already marginalized and unlikely to access mainstream services.

Publication year: 2014

ISBN: 9781369224528

Advisor: Mann, Robert E.

Committee members: Bondy, Susan; Simich, Laura

University/institution: University of Toronto (Canada)

Department: Public Health

Familismo and Adolescent Health: The Role of Key Cultural and Familial Processes on Latino Youth Substance Use

Author: Martinez, Marcos Jerome

Abstract: A secondary data analysis was conducted to investigate the direct and indirect effects of family traditionalism, family cohesion, and parent involvement on alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use in a sample of pre-adolescent youth ( N = 635) and their parents ( N = 462). Aim one hypothesized that family cohesion and family traditionalism would be indicators of a higher order construct, operationalized as familismo. Aims two and three hypothesized that family traditionalism, family cohesion, and parent involvement would be protective against youth substance use. Finally, aim four hypothesized that acculturation would decrease the protective effects of family traditionalism and family cohesion on substance use. Using second order confirmatory factor analysis, aim one found that family cohesion and family traditionalism were indicators of a second order structure. Regarding aims two and three, a consistent significant association was found between family cohesion and parent involvement across alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use outcomes. As well, family cohesion was significantly and inversely associated with past 30-day alcohol use amount (β = -.21, p < 0.05), lifetime alcohol use (β = -.19, p < 0.05), and lifetime marijuana use (β = -.31, p < 0.001). Counter to what was hypothesized, a significant positive relationship between family traditionalism and past 30-day alcohol use amount was found. No significant indirect effects were found. Specific to aim four, significant moderation effects were found between family cohesion and acculturation on alcohol and cigarette use. Higher acculturated youth had greater past 30-day alcohol and cigarette use amount compared to low acculturated youth; as family cohesion increased, alcohol and cigarette use for both low and high-acculturated youth decreased. This study has important implications for social work and future research specific to culture, family, and youth substance use. This study may assist direct social work practitioners, school personnel, and other professionals that work with Latino youth and families in the tailoring of services that are culturally sensitive and relevant to this population and provides further understanding regarding the impact of culture and family on Latino youth substance use. Findings and limitations are discussed specific to social work practice, policy, and research.

Publication year: 2015

ISBN: 9781321725360

Advisor: Marsiglia, Flavio F.

Committee member: Anthony, Elizabeth; Kulis, Stephen

University/institution: Arizona State University

Department: Social Work

A Mixed-Methods Examination of Alcohol Use Among Young Adult Racially/Ethnically Diverse Bariatric Surgery Patients

Author: Spadola, Christine E.

Abstract: Bariatric, or weight loss, surgery (WLS) is known as the most effective treatment for severe obesity, and the number of bariatric surgeries performed in the United States has more than tripled over the past two decades. Despite the potential health benefits of WLS (i.e., reversal of type 2 diabetes), research has revealed problematic alcohol use among WLS patients, in part associated with the following risk factors: the prevalence of a lifetime alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) procedure, younger age, and an increased post-surgical sensitivity to alcohol. There is reason to believe both (a) young adult and (b) racial/ethnic minority bariatric surgery patients could be particularly prone to problematic drinking post-surgery, as both demographic groups represent an elevated risk of problematic alcohol use in the general population. Despite this, to date, there has been no in-depth assessment of alcohol use among young adult WLS patients. This dissertation utilized a sequential exploratory mixed methods design to examine alcohol use among young adult, racially/ethnically diverse WLS patients. Descriptive and inferential analyses examined alcohol use patterns and predictors of problematic alcohol use for 69 young adults who had WLS. Nearly one quarter of the sample (24.6%, n=17) reported an increase in alcohol use after WLS. Age, time since surgery, the RYGB procedure, and having a pre-operative alcohol use disorder (AUD) when entered into the model together, were not a predictive model of frequency of alcohol use or problematic alcohol use after WLS (F [4, 64] = 2.3, p =.067). However, the diagnosis of a pre-operative AUD was associated with an increased frequency of alcohol use post WLS, holding all other predictors constant ( p <.05). Following a purposive sampling approach, the subset that reported an increase in alcohol use was recruited for an in-depth, qualitative interview (n=12). Four major themes emerged concerning an increase in alcohol use after WLS: (1) alcohol as a substitute for food, (2) alcohol use sensitivity, (3) socialization, and (4) alcohol as a coping mechanism. By understanding factors and drinking motivations associated with alcohol use post-WLS, targeted pre and post-surgical counseling interventions can be developed to better educate and address problematic alcohol use among WLS patients.

Publication year: 2015

ISBN: 9781369203813

Advisor: Wagner, Eric F.

Committee members: Messiah, Sarah E.; Padilla, Mark B.; Potocky, Miriam; Ruggiano, Nicole

University/institution: Florida International University

Department: Social Work


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