Alternative Definitions of Hispanics: Consequences in a Alcohol Survey

Raul Caetano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


A nationwide study of drinking patterns and alcohol problems among Hispanics provided the opportunity for examining the impact of different definitions of Hispanic ethnicity on socio-demographic characteristics, drinking patterns and rate of alcohol problems among respondents. Subjects were selected at random and comprise a household sample of the U.S. Hispanic population as defined by family of origin. A total of 1453 individuals were interviewed, yielding a 72% response rate. Data were collected in face to face interviews conducted in the respondent's home. The four definitions of Hispanic ethnicity considered are ethnicity of family of origin, national group, country most ancestors came from and birthplace. Major differences were found between the sample as defined by birthplace and the other three groups. Hispanics in this group are more socially disadvantaged, having fewer people in the upper educational and income groups. The description of drinking patterns is also affected by definitions, with the sample defined by birthplace drinking less that the other groups. The frequency of self-reported intoxication, the mean number of drinks consumed per sitting and the rate of alcohol problems are not affected by changes in the definitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-344
Number of pages14
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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