Alcohol use among Hispanic groups in the United States

Raul Caetano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The objective of this paper is to describe drinking patterns, alcohol problems, attitudes toward drinking and drunkenness, and attitudes toward appropriate drinking among Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cuban-Americans. Subjects were selected through a multistage probability procedure from the United States Hispanic population 18 years of age and older living in households. Data were collected in face to face interviews conducted in the respondent's home. The response rate for the survey was 72% The results indicate that Mexican-Americans drink more and have more problems. While 22% of Mexican-American men report at least one alcohol problem, only 8% of Puerto Ricans and 3% of Cuban-Americans do so. Mexican-Americans are also more accepting of drinking than Puerto Ricans and Cuban-Americans. This is especially so when drinking means drinking enough to feel the effects of alcohol. The generalizability of these findings is somewhat limited by the small number of Cuban-Americans and Puerto Ricans interviewed in the 1984 survey analyzed here. Thus, rather than providing a definitive description of alcohol use among Cuban-Americans and Puerto Ricans on the mainland, this paper should be seen as an enticement for further research. Future studies with United States Hispanics should therefore attempt to confirm the findings in larger and more stable samples of these two groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)293-308
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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