Drinking Context and Companions as Predictors of Alcohol Use Among Border and Non-Border Mexican Americans

Jennifer M. Reingle Gonzalez, Raul Caetano, Britain A. Mills, Patrice A C Vaeth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alcohol dependence is prevalent among Mexican Americans, as 15% of men meet the threshold for dependency. Drinking in a bar increases the odds of binge drinking; however, research is not clear regarding whether drinking companions within the bar setting further increases risk. Therefore, we examine whether drinking place (bars) and companion (friends) have direct or synergistic effects on binge drinking. Data included two samples of Mexican American drinkers, one group who resides along the U.S.-Mexico border (N = 691) and a similar group living in large cities that are not proximal to the border (N = 660). Among border residents, drinking with friends was significantly associated with binge drinking on the maximum drinking occasion. Drinking at bars was associated with increased drinking among non-border residents only. These findings suggest that drinking context and choosing friends as drinking companions are related to one’s propensity to binge drink on a single heavy drinking occasion, and these risk factors differ across context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-102
Number of pages13
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 25 2015


  • Hispanic
  • Mexican American
  • alcohol
  • bar
  • companion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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