Hispanic men have poor access to alcohol abuse treatment, low treatment engagement, and low treatment completion rates despite the contrasting burden of alcohol-related consequences they face.
Hispanic men are more likely than Hispanic women and non-Hispanic White (NHW) men to engage in high risk alcohol consumption. Hispanic men experience disproportionate levels of adverse health consequences of alcohol abuse when compared to NHW men.
A study led by researchers at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health examined Hispanic male perspectives regarding alcohol abuse treatment-seeking behaviors and the structural, sociocultural, and individual factors that may influence initiation and continued engagement in treatment in this population. The study, “Exploring Structural, Sociocultural, and Individual Barriers to Alcohol Abuse Treatment Among Hispanic Men,” was published in the American Journal of Men’s Health in November 2018.
Individual interviews were conducted with a sample of 20 Hispanic men (age: 44.6 ± 11.3 years). Thematic analysis was completed using a hybrid deductive–inductive approach centered in an a priori codebook that was further supplemented with iterative exploration of transcripts.
Results suggested treatment-seeking behaviors were highly influenced by structural factors related to poor treatment access, as well as lack of linguistic- and cultural-responsiveness of available treatment; sociocultural factors related to difficulties problematizing alcohol abuse due to lack of community awareness, societal normalization of consumption, and stigmatization of alcohol abuse treatment; and individual factors related to lack of individual knowledge.
The work highlights the perceived lack of congruency between available treatment and the linguistic, cultural, and gender norms of Hispanic men. There is need for responsive treatment strategies that comprehensively consider the gendered- and sociocultural-factors that govern treatment seeking and engagement behaviors. Findings also suggest a need for targeted alcohol abuse awareness building efforts in the Hispanic community. Specifically, the detrimental effects of alcohol-related problems and potential benefits of treatment should be addressed in order to diminish social stigma of abuse and of treatment.
Dr. Luis A. Valdez, the lead author of the published study, graduated from the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health with a PhD in Health Behavior and Health Promotion in 2018 and a MPH in 2014.
“Exploring Structural, Sociocultural, and Individual Barriers to Alcohol Abuse Treatment Among Hispanic Men“; American Journal of Men’s Health. November 2018; Luis A. Valdez, David O. Garcia, John Ruiz, Eyal Oren, Carvajal Scott