Acculturation and Drug Use Stigma Among Latinos and African Americans
An Examination of a Church-Based Sample
Published in: Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, v. 17, 2015, p. 1607-1614
Posted on RAND.org on February 02, 2015
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Substance use patterns among Latinos likely reflect changes in attitudes resulting from acculturation, but little is known about Latinos' attitudes regarding drug addiction. We surveyed a church-based sample of Latinos and African Americans (N = 1,235) about attitudes toward drug addiction and socio-demographics. Linear regression models compared Latino subgroups with African-Americans. In adjusted models, Latinos had significantly higher drug addiction stigma scores compared to African Americans across all subgroups (US-born Latinos, β = 0.22, p .05; foreign-born Latinos with high English proficiency, β = 0.30, p .05; and foreign-born Latinos with low English proficiency, β = 0.49, p .001). Additionally, Latinos with low English proficiency had significantly higher mean levels of drug use stigma compared Latinos with high proficiency (both foreign-born and US-born). In this church-affiliated sample, Latinos' drug addiction stigma decreases with acculturation, but remains higher among the most acculturated Latinos compared to African- Americans. These attitudes may pose a barrier to treatment for Latino drug users.