Acculturation, depression, self-esteem, and substance abuse among Hispanic men.
The demographics of the United States are rapidly changing as a result of immigration from Latin America. Predictions indicate that by the year 2050, one of every four persons in the United States will be of Hispanic ethnicity. If health disparities relating to substance abuse and related mental health conditions among Hispanics are not fully understood and addressed, these will continue to grow along with this population. The purpose of this pilot study was to describe the relationships among acculturation, depression, self-esteem, and substance abuse among a community sample of Hispanic men in South Florida (N = 164, 82 heterosexual men and 82 men who have sex with men). Standardized instruments measuring acculturation, depression, self-esteem, and substance abuse were administered in English or Spanish in a face-to-face interview format. Descriptive statistics and multiple logistic regression were used to illustrate participant characteristics and test relationships among the variables. Despite the fact that the majority of participants were more acculturated to the Hispanic culture than US culture, reported low levels of education and income, were depressed, and used substances, this group of men reported high levels of self-esteem. However, age and depression were the only predictors of substance abuse. Acculturation and self-esteem were not predictors of substance abuse. Clinicians need to be aware of the high rates of depression and substance abuse in this population and screen frequently for signs and symptoms of depression and substance abuse during health care encounters.
Vasquez, EP; Gonzalez-Guarda, RM; De Santis, JP
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