Prevention Science

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 208–217 | Cite as

Stress and Multiple Substance Use Behaviors Among Hispanic Adolescents

  • Jodi Berger Cardoso
  • Jeremy T. Goldbach
  • Richard C. Cervantes
  • Paul Swank


Hispanic adolescents reported a higher annual prevalence of use of nearly all major drugs compared to non-Hispanic White and African American adolescents. Cultural or minority stressors, such as those related to the acculturation process, discrimination, immigration, poverty, and community violence, have been implicated in these outcomes. Unfortunately, few studies have examined how these stressors may have a differential or additive effect when considered simultaneously. The current study examined the relation between stress and multiple substance use behaviors in a sample of Hispanic adolescents (n = 1036), age 11–19 years old. Latent class analysis identified subgroups of Hispanic adolescents based on combinations of substance use behaviors. General linear models were used to examine mean differences by class among the eight domains of stress. Fit statistics revealed a six-class structure: no substance use risk, predominately alcohol use, low polysubstance use, high polysubstance use, illicit drug use, and predominately marijuana use. Differences in stress across the six classes were identified for four of the eight domains: family economic, acculturation gap, community and gang, and family and drug stress. The effect sizes revealed the largest mean differences in stress between the no substance use group and the two polysubstance use groups and between the no risk group and alcohol use group. The findings from this study support the use of interventions that target stress to affect multiple substance use behaviors in Hispanic adolescents.


Stress Hispanic adolescents Multiple substance use behaviors 



The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (2R44MH073180-02, PI: Richard C. Cervantes).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of Human Rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Society for Prevention Research 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jodi Berger Cardoso
    • 1
  • Jeremy T. Goldbach
    • 2
  • Richard C. Cervantes
    • 3
  • Paul Swank
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate College of Social WorkUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Behavioral Assessment, Inc.Los AngelesUSA

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