Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 187–195 | Cite as

Psychosocial Mediators of the Impact of Acculturation on Adolescent Substance Abuse

  • Gilbert Saint-Jean
  • Carlos A. Martinez
  • Lee A. Crandall
Original Paper


To identify and evaluate socio-psychological factors that are associated with differences in substance abuse prevalence between non-acculturated and acculturated Florida youth, we employed t-test and logistic regression to analyze self-reported data from 63,000 middle and high school student participants in the 2004 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey. Questionnaire items covered socio-demographics, tobacco, alcohol, and illicit substance use; and perceptions and attitudes toward drug use. The outcome variables were past 30 day use of “any illicit drug.” The key independent variable was language used at home (English/Another language). The covariates were 32 socio-psychological factors that are considered risk and protective factors for adolescent drug abuse. Findings support the growing body of evidence suggesting that acculturation status is a strong predictor of substance use among adolescents. This effect may be mediated principally through the family and peer/individual psychosocial domains. The findings may have important implications for the design and implementation of drug prevention programs targeting teenagers.


ATOD Acculturation Immigrants Substance abuse Mediators of substance abuse 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gilbert Saint-Jean
    • 1
  • Carlos A. Martinez
    • 2
  • Lee A. Crandall
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity of Miami School of MedicineMiamiUSA
  2. 2.Florida Department of Children and FamiliesTallahasseeUSA

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