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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.



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.