Hispanic Youth with Alcohol Abuse

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Updated: Aug 21, 2023
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As more people immigrate into the United States, the need to provide culturally competent nursing care increases. Presently, Hispanics make up the largest and most rapidly growing ethnic group in the country. Studies indicate drinking patterns associated with Hispanics differ from those of non-Hispanic Whites and other ethnic groups. Although studies show “Latino Americans are less likely to drink alcohol than their non-Hispanic white counterparts” (Alcohol Rehab Guide), those who do consume alcohol tend to markedly increase the amount compared to non-Hispanic Whites.

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This pattern of binge drinking can be defined as having “4 to 5 drinks in a single sitting” (Childmind).

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that the culture-specific variables affecting Hispanic adolescents include their level of acculturation and attitudes towards alcohol. However, research shows that increasing education in Hispanic adolescents from an earlier age and expanding outreach programs can foster greater knowledge, thereby minimizing the likelihood of alcohol abuse. Ineffective health maintenance is related to knowledge deficit of alcohol consumption, as evidenced by binge drinking.

“Acculturation has been linked to an increased prevalence of substance use and related problems among Latinos in the United States” (Acculturation and Substance Abuse). Several theories suggest the relationship between acculturation and alcohol use, one of which is the general stress model. This theory suggests that an increase in stress related to cultural factors, such as language barriers or facing discrimination, can lead Hispanic adolescents to turn to alcohol as a way to cope.

Another theory proposes that Hispanic youth, potentially marginalized due to their ethnicity, may adopt alcohol use as a part of their identity to compensate for ego-identity discomfort. Lastly, it is suggested that “highly acculturated immigrants adopt liberal norms and attitudes towards drinking and drunkenness, as well as positive expectancies about the effects of alcohol” (Acculturation). In addition to this, highly acculturated immigrants are more likely to attend social events in places that serve alcohol, thus increasing their alcohol consumption. In conclusion, understanding these differences can help nurses prevent, intervene, and treat alcohol abuse within the Hispanic community.

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Hispanic Youth with Alcohol Abuse. (2019, Oct 24). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/hispanic-youth-with-alcohol-abuse/