Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 182–191

Perceived barriers to opportunity and their relation to substance use among Latino immigrant men

  • India J. Ornelas
  • Eugenia Eng
  • Krista M. Perreira


Theory and empirical evidence suggest that perceived barriers to opportunity, such as discrimination, can lead to the adoption of unhealthy behaviors. The study assessed the relationship between perceived racial/ethnic, language and legal status barriers to opportunity and substance use among Latino immigrant men in North Carolina. Logistic regression was used to test for the association between perceived barriers and odds of binge drinking in the past 30 days and cigarette smoking. In both crude and adjusted models, perceived language barriers (OR = 3.05, 95% CI: 1.78–5.25) and legal status barriers (OR = 2.25, 95% CI: 1.26–4.01) were associated with increased odds of having engaged in binge drinking. Perceived barriers to opportunity were not significantly associated with cigarette smoking. Further research is needed to better understand the effect of language and legal status barriers on health among Latino immigrants.


Alcohol Tobacco Latino Immigrant Discrimination 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • India J. Ornelas
    • 1
  • Eugenia Eng
    • 2
  • Krista M. Perreira
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health Behavior and Health EducationUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of Public PolicyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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