A Cultural and Social Cognitive Model of Differences in Acculturation Orientations, Alcohol Expectancies, and Alcohol-Related Risk Behaviors Among Hispanic College Students


  • This research was supported by Grant DA025694 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Please address correspondence to: Sabrina E. Des Rosiers, Center for Family Studies, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, 1425 N.W. 10th Avenue, Miami, FL 33136. e-mail:srosiers@med.miami.edu



The present study used a cultural and social cognitive conceptual framework to investigate whether alcohol expectancies and valuations would mediate the associations between specific acculturation orientations and alcohol-related risk behaviors.


The sample comprised 1,527 Hispanic students attending colleges and universities in diverse regions of the United States. Respondents completed self-report measures of Hispanic and American cultural practices; alcohol expectancies and valuations; and self-reported frequency of hazardous alcohol use, binge drinking, sexual activity under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of alcohol, and riding with a drunk driver. Latent class analysis was used to classify participants into acculturation orientations.


Results indicated that acculturation orientations were differentially associated with alcohol-related risk outcomes, with separated bicultural and low bicultural orientations inversely related to all of the alcohol-related risk behaviors except for riding with a drunk driver. Negative expectancy valuations were positively associated with endorsement of binge drinking and drunk driving and negative expectancies were negatively associated with binge drinking, drunk driving, and riding with a drunk driver. With the exception of sexual activity under the influence of alcohol, the associations between acculturation orientations and alcohol-related risk behaviors were partially mediated by positive alcohol expectancies.


Our findings provided relevant data that are informative for preventing alcohol and related risk behaviors among Hispanic college students.