Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Torres, Lucas

Second Advisor

De St. Aubin, Ed

Third Advisor

Saunders, Stephen


The present study examined alcohol use disorder symptoms among Mexican-Americans. Participants consisted of a community-based sample of 237 Mexican-American adults living in the Midwest United States. The role of nativity status and cultural variables in alcohol use disorder symptoms was explored. Specifically, ethnic identity, acculturation, and acculturative stress were used to predict membership into high and low alcohol use disorder symptom groups among U.S.-and foreign-born Mexican-Americans. Additionally, gender, ethnic identity, and acculturative stress were tested as moderators in the relationship between acculturation and alcohol use disorder symptoms. Among U.S.-born participants, only ethnic identity was found to be predictive of alcohol use disorder symptoms, such that higher ethnic identity was related to fewer alcohol use disorder symptoms. Among foreign-born participants, ethnic identity was also predictive of few alcohol use disorder symptoms. Additionally, increased pressure against acculturation was predictive of higher alcohol use disorder symptoms for foreign-born participants. Among the sample as a whole, those with low Latino Orientation and high pressure against acculturation reported more alcohol use disorder symptoms. These results highlight the protective effect of ethnic identity and the need for further research that examines nativity status, acculturation, and specific acculturative stressors in regard to alcohol use disorder symptoms among Mexican-Americans.