Alcohol use/abuse and help-seeking among U.S. adults: The role of racial-ethnic origin and foreign-born status

Academic Article


  • We used data from Wave 1 and Wave 2 of the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions to examine racial-ethnic and nativity-based variations in alcohol use/abuse and treatment seeking while accounting for acculturation, stress, and social integration factors. The dependent variables included alcohol use, risky drinking, DSM-IV alcohol use disorder, and treatment seeking in the past 12 months. Racial-ethnic categories included African, European, Asian/Pacific Islander, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and other Hispanic/Latino. Acculturation, social stress, and social integration were assessed with previously validated, detailed measures. Bivariate probit models with sample selection were estimated for women and men. Immigrant status and origin associations with alcohol use/abuse and treatment seeking were strong and largely unaffected by other social factors. Europeans and men of Mexican origin had the highest while women of African, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Puerto Rican origins had the lowest rates of alcohol use/abuse. Years in the United States was associated with a higher risk of alcohol use/abuse for all immigrant groups. Foreign-born individuals were no less likely than U.S. natives to seek treatment if they were abusing or were dependent on alcohol. Further modeling of these relationships among specific immigrant groups is warranted. These findings inform alcohol rehabilitation and mental health services for racial-ethnic minorities and immigrants.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Szaflarski M; Klepinger DH; Cubbins LA
  • Start Page

  • 183
  • End Page

  • 210
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 2