Hispanic adolescents with severe substance abuse problems: Parental involvement, acculturation-related factors, and attachment

Conchita Smith Lundblad, Florida International University


The main objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between parent-related, acculturation-related, and substance use-related variables found within individual, familial/parental, peer and school adolescent ecological domains, in a clinical sample (i.e. adolescents who met criteria for a Diagnostic Statistical Manual-IV [DSMIV] clinical diagnosis of substance abuse/dependence) of Hispanic adolescents from Miami, Florida. The sample for this study consisted of 94 adolescent-mother pairs. The adolescent sample was 65% male, and 35% female, with a mean age of 15 years. More than half of the adolescents were born in the United States (60%) and had resided in the U.S. for an average of 12 years; 80% of the caregivers (primarily mothers) were foreign-born and lived in the U.S. for an average of 21 years. Correlation and hierarchical regression were used to answer the research questions. The findings indicate that the hypothesized model and corresponding anticipated effect of the relationship between parental school and peer involvement on adolescents’ frequency of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine use was not supported by the data. Parental “acculturation-related” variables did not explain any of the variance in adolescent substance use frequency in this sample. Mediation and moderation models were not supported either. However, some interesting relationships were found: The larger the acculturation gap, the lower the parental involvement in school tended to be (r = -.21, p < .05). Adolescents who experienced a greater acculturation gap with their parents (-.81, p >.01) had an earlier onset of marijuana (-.33, p < .01) and cocaine use (r = -.24, p <.01). The less acculturated parents experienced more parenting stress (r = -.31, p = < .01). Attachment was positively associated with parental peer involvement (r = .24, p < .05) and inversely associated with parenting acculturative stress (r = -.24, p < .05). Attachment was also positively associated with marijuana (r = .39, p < .01) and cocaine use (r = .33, p < .01). Adolescent males reported being more attached to their mothers when compared to adolescent females (r = .22, p >.05), they also reported using marijuana more frequently than females (.21, p >.05).

Subject Area

Individual & family studies|Public policy|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

Lundblad, Conchita Smith, "Hispanic adolescents with severe substance abuse problems: Parental involvement, acculturation-related factors, and attachment" (2008). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3325599.