Resilience and Culture Among Mexican Youth – Felipe Castro

(Dr. Castro) Hello, my name Felipe Gonzalez Castro and I’m professor and Southwest Borderland Scholar at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University. Today’s presentation has been developed for the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at El Paso. I’ll be talking about the topic of resilience and drug use among Hispanic-heritage youth. This presentation brings to social work important ideas for you to understand that involve theory, looking at models, and testing them in the form of a study that was conducted here, in the greater Phoenix area Before we start in the formal presentation or lecture, I’d like to cover an overview of the key areas that I’ll be covering in this presentation. First section is the “Overview of Issues Involving Cultural Capital among Hispanics.” This is an introduction that talks about cultural capital, which is an important cultural set of ingredients that help people to survive under difficult conditions in a new society. So, we’ll give you an overview on those issues. Section 2: “Cultural Theory, Evidence and Approaches Regarding Cultural Adaptation.” This is providing the theoretical background based on much literature and research in the academic setting that helps us to understand how these issues come together in understanding the role of culture and human adaptation Then, we’ll go to section 3 titled, “Cultural Factors and Models of Risks for Substance Use.” This begins to look at specific cultural factors that influence and provide risk or protection against substance use in Hispanic youth. We’ll proceed to section 4: “Empirical Study of Cultural Factors & Youth Substance Use.” This is now taking the information that preceded it to look at a model that can be tested and understood based on actual evidence that has been collected and looked at for Hispanic youth. Section 5 will then be somewhat of a wrap up, titled, “Results and Conclusion,” where we pull together what we looked at and try to understand its meaning and how it might be applied by social workers in the field Finally, section 6 is, “Questions and Content for Discussion,” as we end this presentation With your instructor or others, you can have further discussion on the content covered in this presentation. This is the first section titled, “Overview of Issues Involving Cultural Capital among Hispanics.” The first construct that I want to focus in on is something titled, “Resilience.” That involves the capacity to “bounce back” from adversity. This work began with children trying to understand why it is that some children, despite growing up in poverty and difficult life circumstances, were able to do well while others, their neighbors or others from the neighborhood, did very poorly, whether in school or in life situations So, resilience has become a very interesting construct especially as applied to immigrant populations. As you can see, immigrants are those that come into a new society, but, from my perspective, immigration also involves transitions from one location to another even within a nation. For example, individuals that live in rural environments that go to school or go to work in urban environments These are also transitions that require resilience, the ability to bounce back, to adapt well in a new environment, and in some cases, to engage and benefit for upward socioeconomic mobility, which refers to the ability to do better economically as you get a better paying job, based in part on having a strong education. One issue that’s been looked at by sociologists is why some immigrants who come into this country and in others like us engage or experience something called a downward trajectory, meaning that when they come to the new nation they actually wind up doing more poorly across time. In this regard, there’s the issue of human capital and social capital. Human capital refers to the capacities that an individual brings to the new society such as education or some type of trade that they’re able to practice and ultimately make a living doing that. Social capital refers to the environment and the system of social supports that provides the

individual with opportunities and economic or effective personal support that can make life easier in surviving in a new society How do those elements influence life trajectories? Another thing to be mentioned about resilience is that we should take an interactive approach which has been described as a person by environment capability. As mentioned before in terms of human and social capital, both individual characteristics and environmental characteristics are involved in how it is that a person survives So, we need to look at the pattern between those two as they work together or in conflict This is how we can understand this notion of cultural capital. In terms of the personality aspects of resilience, as you can see, there are several criteria that through research with children some of the work by Klohnen and also leadership work by Hogan and colleagues, there are 6 characteristics that have been identified as descriptive or indicative of resilience, and let’s go over those. The first of these is confident optimism, that is, people that are resilient tend to be optimistic and they tend to feel that they can succeed. This is an important attitude which makes a difference in their resilience. Number 2, Productive Activity. That means that they’re doers. They get to the point where they try to accomplish goals and they can succeed because they try hard at it. Number 3 is Insight and Warmth This has to do the notion of emotional intelligence, the idea that you do better in society by making friends with people and by getting along with others. That’s as important socially as it is in the work setting. Number 4 is Skilled Expression. That means that the person is able to communicate well and to make their point to others in a way that can be convincing or certainly that at least let’s them know what they want to say. That’s also an important aspect of this notion of resilience. Number 5 is Self-regulation of emotions and behavior One of the challenges for new immigrants is to survive in a new society where they can experience both positive and negative situations. For example, discrimination is now seen, quite openly, as something that happens to people that are new in any setting or environment Certainly for immigrants having different skills or different culture may expose them to discrimination or misunderstanding. So, how can they regulate their emotions despite anger or disappointment so that they continue forward towards their goal? How do they act in a way that allows them to survive despite being exposed to adversity? That is a process that we call, “Self Regulation.” and that’s also central to resilience. Finally, “Goal directedness.” In fact, the experience of many immigrants that come to United States and into more affluent countries is that they have a goal of a better life. Because of that, they have that and many other shorter term goals that are part of their experience in the new environment. That’s also important to resilience because resilient people set goals for themselves and they work in relation to these other features mentioned before that operates towards attaining their life goals In summary then, these are characteristics of the person by environment interaction, specifically to the person in this case, that we consider to part of resilience. I want to talk now about human capital. As you see the definition by a sociologist, Massey and his colleagues, describe human capital as “personal traits and characteristics that increase a worker’s productivity.” So, they see human capital as linked to the ability to be resilient in the work setting, to set goals, to accomplish them, and ultimately to be a contributor to the society, someone who is productive. That makes human capital. That’s important for immigrants, but for all citizens in a country because a country’s welfare is based upon the capacity of individuals, groups, and corporations to be productive and to add to the national capacity to do well as a country. One of the indicators of human capital is years of education, and that of course makes a big difference in the capacity to be productive and to be successful. Social capital, as indicated there, involves a system of external resources, as I mentioned before, and just to add more to that, that can include the family as well as community and mutual aid groups. Any organized

structure such as family or community that helps the individual to do well can be considered a source of social capital. I also want to expand a little bit more on the notion of the person by environment interaction which is a central tenant in Social Cognitive Theory, which was developed by Bandura and his collaborators In that theory, there is also the notion of reciprocal determinism, which means that the person, one element, the environment, another element, and the third element being behavior, all interact back and forth and that’s part of the experience of engaging society and the community One approach to understanding these different forms of capital is to think of social and human capital as pieces or portions of this notion of cultural capital, again, the resource that allows an individual to be successful in their environment. Finally, I want to talk about socioeconomic barriers. Cultural capital is important in overcoming barriers that individuals can have. Many of you may well be familiar with the opportunities that go with getting past barriers. For example, these being, as you can see, educational opportunities allow the person to do better to get a better job and to have the resources necessary to have a more positive lifestyle. Well-paying jobs are part of having a good education, as well as issues of housing and resource persons that work with one to survive in the new society Unfortunately, not everyone benefits from these equally and there can be barriers to life chances and socioeconomic mobility. All of these are part of the series of conditions that we and you as social workers need to understand more fully in working with various individuals, particularly those of lower social class that face many social barriers. Amongst these, as you can see, are discrimination, social segregation, and institutional racism All of these have been discussed in sociology and social work texts as issues that need to be understood by the social worker in order to work more effectively with individuals that are grappling to engage in upward socioeconomic mobility in this country and in others. Those are they key ideas as we understand those aspects that are associated with this section which, as we indicated before, is titled, “Overview of Issues Involving Cultural Capital among Hispanics.” Now, we’ll move on to section number 2 and that’s titled, “Cultural Theory, Evidence and Approaches Regarding Cultural Adaptation.” I’d like to start with the very interesting but very complex construct or entity that we call ‘culture’. Here, as you can see, from a very interesting article by Lehman and his collaborators, they defined culture as, and I will read in quotes, “a coalescence of discrete behavioral norms and cognitions [e.g., normative beliefs] shared by individuals within some definable population that are distinct from those shared by other populations.” In other words, society has segmented into groups in the old days it was tribes otherwise it’s been communities or nations and they have a culture which is a system of beliefs. We’ll go into further detail later that there are many different concepts and definitions of culture, this being one of them, but this captures a core essence of what we think about when we think of culture. Cultural groups also have this notion, as indicated by Lehman, of ‘cultural schemas’ or ‘cultural paradigms’ What are those? These are ways of thinking that are coherent or hang together in a way that people see the world. That’s important to understand. A quote from the Lehman article is the following, “Cultural schemas involve a set of socially shared practices, norms, values, and other mental events that are loosely organized around some common theme… These cultural paradigms guide the construction of meaning across many domains of social life.” That’s a long one, but what does it mean? It means that these cultural schemas or world views influence the way that people see the world and how of course they interpret the world or the meaning that they draw from it That’s why that you can see in different cultures or different groups the same experience may have a different meaning because they come into the picture with different cultural schemas

As I mentioned before, there are many definitions In an interesting little pamphlet that was published here, at Arizona State University, by Baldwin and Lindsley in 1994 they identified over 100 definitions of culture. So, you can see that culture is really very complex and there are many views, but that doesn’t mean that there’s 100 totally different ways of understanding culture. There are just a few because things overlap. Let me give some of those overlapping or thematic features. First of all, it can be said that culture is a distinct human capacity for adapting to circumstances and transmitting that knowledge from elders to children. In other words, in many ways culture is very closely aligned to the notion of resilience, the idea that there are challenges to survival and those that do well have a certain way of thinking or a cultural background that allows them to survive whereas others may not. Culture also provides people with a sense of belonging, norms for acceptable behavior, and expectations of required behavior So, in other words, it provides people with shoulds or guides for what it is they should do to be an accepted member of the cultural group. I also want to share with you some very specific elements of culture and these are the recurring themes. Culture can be see, as you can see there in number 1, as lifeways, a way of life, adaptations to the environment and this includes coping skills. This is how people navigate through their cultural environment Those are expressions of culture. Number 2, culture is also a linguistic feature, shared symbols and meanings of a community of actors, that is, people see a certain symbol, for example in Christianity the cross means something. It means the system of belief and knowledge–religion that is part of being a Christian or a person of Christian background So, the cross is an important symbol and in many other areas. For example, the American flag is a symbol of the United States. These are all pieces of what we call linguistic and in some ways pictorial features that stand for more than that element itself. These are the linguistic shared symbols. Number 3, psychological factors. Culture also contains at the core of it, as mentioned before, beliefs, values, attitudes, norms, perceptions, traditions All of these are psychological entities that psychologists and social workers and other professionals use as a way of understanding how people live their lives psychologically Number 4: Heritage. Culture brings a heritage to people, that is knowledge that is transmitted across generations and that is also referred to as a social heritage. Number 5, another theme of culture is that it’s an evolving process, that is culture changes across time It’s not static. Sometimes, it goes forward and even backwards again to the olden ways or traditions, but, to be clear, culture changes as environmental conditions require a change that’s needed for survival. Number 6, culture is constructed by a people. If there was no group of people there would be no culture In other words, people make up explanations, add meaning to life by looking at the environment, and surviving in it. This is what we then describe as the construction of culture. This helps to generate meaning from experiences Number 7, culture is also a source of group differences. You might recall that different groups develop their own culture so, when we look across groups you can see that there are distinct differences across these groups and across nations in terms of something that we all know. For example, different languages in different nations, different ways of thinking, different economies, different philosophies, different political orientations. All of this is part of the difference that you see across different cultural groups. Let me present this information from a different perspective and that’s the distinction between surface and deep structure. Surface structure refers to the cosmetic or easily visible aspects of a culture. By contrast, deep structure involves the deeper meaning that you have to look a little more closely to try to understand those elements of culture that can only be understood by digging deeper and understanding people on a deeper level. This is to be contrasted with some investigators have called ethnic losses. These could also be seen as stereotypes, where people are seen in a very

simplistic way, but if you dig deeper you find that they’re actually very different from that or that’s only the tip of the iceberg There’s a lot more to their identity than simply that piece that you saw at the top Now, I want to talk from this notion of theory as a holistic big entity to pieces of them which we call ‘cultural factors’. Cultural factors are theoretical constructs, such as acculturation, traditionalism, ethnic pride. These are features of a culture and they tell us a lot when we break it down into those pieces even though when we do that we take it out of context So, we have to take that in mind as we look at these theoretical constructs, which we call cultural factors. Now, when we measure these cultural factors we create cultural variables. These are measured entities and in models and we’ll talk about that a bit more They have different roles within models. In other words, cultural variables can be predictors, they can be moderators, or mediators, and they can even sometimes be outcome variables Predictors, for example, can be seen as determinants You’ve probably heard of determinants of health What are the factors which are influential in health outcomes, that is if you get sick, if you have good or bad mental health. These are all part of the factors which lead to the outcomes which we are interested in–positive and negative health outcomes. This next slide is very complex but it gives an overview of the role of different cultural and other factors as predictors, moderators, mediators, or outcomes This slide also adds one more component which is when we test a model we want to see whether an intervention is better than no intervention or an upgraded intervention is better than the original. I won’t spend time looking at this, but this gives you a schematic of what we do when we take culture, break it up into cultural factors or variables, and then try to test it to see how predictors can influence outcomes Let me talk about a very important cultural factor, something called acculturation. Acculturation is a worldwide phenomenon and it basically occurs when people migrate to a new environment Often we think of acculturation as occurring with immigrants that go from one country to another, but acculturation can involve mobility within nations, and that involves moving, as I mentioned before, from a rural to an urban environment or from going from high school to college. These are important life experiences that most people experience. Now, with Mexican immigrants when we focus on those as a particular migrating group the American culture then presents to them perhaps a little different values, beliefs, and practices to which they have to adapt. They now have a challenge of bringing their traditional values and incorporating new values. How that happens–that’s part of the process of acculturation. One of the issues that has been looked at in studies conducted with Mexicans and other immigrants is that through the process of acculturation, for reasons that still are not quite so clear but that have been replicated, there are higher rates of substance use with higher rates of acculturation That’s one of the interesting questions to understand in the process of adaptation. This slide is a graphic that tries to show that the process of acculturation involves various stages. Here, you see on the left the home country and with ‘A’ being the home country and ‘B’ being the new country or environment You see the individual at A1 leaves their home country and moves into the new country, B and this is now condition A2. Often, immigrants experience downward mobility when they come to a new country because they come into a lower socioeconomic situation. Every now and then you’ll run into a taxi driver who was a professor in their country, but they’re driving a taxi now because they’re starting at a lower rung in the new society. That would then be in the fringes or position A2. One of the challenges involves upward mobility Can they migrate to the mainstream, A3? And finally, some of them are very successful and actually become affluent. They might migrate to A4, the elite portion of the mainstream American society. I want to talk about factors that are examined from a different perspective, that is the earlier days of acculturation had this unidimensional model where people go from

A to B. Other investigators felt that that was too simplistic and proposed an orthogonal model or a two factor model that emphasizes that individuals may move to a new society and acquire the new values, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to lose the old values They may or may not. This is a formulation which is consistent with the idea of being bilingual bicultural, where you have both qualities incorporated into one person. Now, there are people that would rather leave behind the old and start the new. Others resist coming into the new and keep the old and never really acculturate or assimilate. Those are different configurations we see and why the orthogonal model or two factor model is very important This led to the work of Berry and published several articles. We have a couple cited here In 2003, 2004 that postulated four strategies for acculturation that are relevant to the previous discussion that I just mentioned 1: Integration, which people integrate both cultures into one. 2: Assimilation. They leave behind the old and acquire only the new. 3: Separation, means that they stay with the old and have difficulty or refuse to integrate into the new culture. And 4: Marginalization, meaning they lose both entities and they lack culture either the new one or the old. The last concept I want to talk about is segmented assimilation. This is more advanced than the earlier notion of acculturation because it tries to explain that a segmented assimilation theory tries to explain why it is that some people will succeed in a new society whereas others do not. This is the work of Portes and Zhou and others. They presented 3 basic configurations. The first of this is acculturation change towards the mainstream that includes upward socioeconomic mobility. They call this upward assimilation. That means that they are successful immigrants and they do well in the new society. Number 2 is acculturation change towards the mainstream, but with downward socioeconomic mobility. What that means is that they do worse when they come into the new society for a variety of reasons. You can imagine that issues of cultural capital and resilience are part of this. A lack of those is probably involved in downward socioeconomic mobility or downward assimilation. Number 3, as you see, the resistance to assimilation meaning that the immigrant tries not to fit in because they are not comfortable or simply find it too difficult to move into the new society in the way that they can actually blend in well. That ends portion number 2 We’re starting section 3 now and that’s called, “Cultural Factors and Models of Risks for Substance Use.” I want to talk about how we structure models in order to understand and measure and even test this notion of culture and culture change. First of all, when we want to understand acculturative change we understand the rate of change across time. These are known as trajectories or acculturation slopes. We want to understand how it is that some people very quickly change and others change very slowly We see that in the case of children in a new society who acquire the new language and cultural values very quickly and many parents don’t acquire them quite as fast at all. These are differences between children and parents in their acculturation slopes. Number 2, we must recognize different starting points. These are the acculturation intercepts. For example, some individuals may start in a lower class environment or at a rural environment and those are very different starting points from those that start in an affluent environment or in an urban environment. All this said then, it depends and it’s important to take into account, in these models, whether people start in certain conditions or others. All of that is a part of the acculturation intercept Third, we need to ask about what acculturative trajectories are associated with better or worse health. In other words, ultimately, we want to know how we can help individuals if we understand from theory and from practice what are the things that keep them healthy? What are the things that make them sick? These are the health outcomes and through these models we begin to put the pieces together in ways that help us understand how all these different pieces work and how we as social workers or nurses or other health professionals can use that information to help individuals, and families, and even communities. For example, negative health outcomes can involve depression,

cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, substance use. But, on the other hand, positive aspects of health outcomes can be resilience or life satisfaction. Of course, our goal is to help people lead happier lives and at the same time avoid disease and disability. I won’t spend time with this, but this is the actual model that we use data to pull together and understand these hidden or latent classes. As you see there, you can see the intercept and slope based on 2 governing conditions, socioeconomic status on the left and acculturation on the right. Also, there are control variables of immigration status and education. All this, as you can see, is very complex, but it basically gives us some answers to the question of how all these pieces contribute to health related outcomes. This other slide looks at theoretical aspects of segmented assimilation or these group trajectories What I tried to show here is that if you measure by socioeconomic status moving from the low socioeconomic status at the bottom to higher status at the top, or acculturation lower at the bottom higher at the top. We can call these two forms of affluence, whether people have very supportive lives and are doing very well economically, which is at the top number 5 or affluence low–that they have very low capacity, low resources and that would be a 1 and everything in between. The idea here is that if we start at a certain point, we’re looking across time, as you can see, elementary school, middle school, high school, and adulthood as life milestones. This basically gives a picture in a simplistic way of different trajectories As you see, the trajectories begin to accelerate as you move from high school to adulthood This is the actual data itself. You can see that the socioeconomic trajectories at the top has this very interesting, fairly flat pattern from elementary, to middle, to high school, and then it fans out considerably Those that do very well, the triangles, very strong upward mobility, the circles, the dark circles being a little bit of upward mobility But then, the bad course of action, the open triangles, a little bit of lower mobility and then the open circles–very bad mobility These are all indicators that there are changes or shifts that influence behavior in a way that’s maladaptive when you have lower mobility With that said, the acculturation is much more complex and I won’t spend time on those, but you can see how those different acculturation groups change across time. Some do very well across the different life milestones from elementary, to middle, high school, and adult. The second factor I want to discuss is traditional family values. Traditions are also important core elements of culture. You can see here that traditional cultural values involve adherence to conservative or old style familial norms and prescribed gender roles. This is some of the work by Mary Cuadrado who is currently many years of faculty there at UTEP. This is an interesting article, as cited at the bottom, that appeared in 1998. Traditions, then, are basically core cultural pieces of heritage. They involve promoting family, group survival, a sense of peoplehood. Family traditions, of course, focus on how families stay together and find ways to survive in a new environment Then, of course, those survival strategies are passed along from elders to children and that provides ancestral heritage. One more factor I want to discuss is ethnic pride, that is the feeling good about where you come from, what your cultural heritage is. That is seen, as you can examine here, a cognitive emotional construct. It’s both ideas and feelings put together into this sense which we call ethnic pride. It also relates to ethnic group membership and some sense of self respect or feeling good about yourself. It can reflect maturation in ethnic identity development, the theory provided by Jean Phinney talks about different stages as people go from having no identity to having a strong identity. That is part of the developmental process in adolescence and even in adulthood. Strong ethnic pride is a form of personal agency, which means the ability to be a strong person, and of course that relates the issue of resilience People, in principle, that have high ethnic pride would likely be more resilient. It depends on many factors, but we think that these are

correlated effects. Also, ethnic pride would be important in avoiding drug use, and this is the capacity to engage in refusal skills, or resisting pressures to use drugs in a way that’s maladaptive. The actual process is more complex and we’ll take a look at that in just a bit, but ethnic pride is seen at least another factor in promoting the ability to say no to drug use. Those are the key concepts that I wanted to present to you as we wind down in section 3 and shortly we’ll begin section 4. We’re starting section 4 now which is titled, “Empirical Study of Cultural Factors & Youth Substance Use.” In this section, I have very complex models with many details and my goal here is not to cover those in any level of detail, but rather to provide you with an overview and show you the actual models and how we tested them, but more to provide with some insights into patterns, major trends that appeared by testing these models. It shows how we can take theory, create models, and then test them empirically in an actual study that was conducted in the community Let’s begin by understanding what the sample looked like. This sample consisted of 945 Latino youth who identified as Mexican, Mexican American, Hispanic, or Latino. They were sampled from 14 middle schools, that is 8th grade, 7th grade, or 6th grade, in the greater Phoenix area. The sample, then, was part of a larger group that included 4th and 5th graders, that is elementary and middle school youth. The elementary sample, which is multi-ethnic, was 1,453 and the middle school 1,716 for a total of 3,169 students. But, here, we want to focus in on the Hispanic/Latino youth, in this case 945–those being in middle school Now, this is also data obtained at the baseline, since we had an intervention activity for tobacco prevention and we called it ‘Healthy Lifestyles’, so we’re just looking at the startup data, that is the cross sectional baseline data. I won’t spend time on this slide, but you can see here the distribution, males and females in the sample. It was a little heavier in the female–61% versus males 38%, grades 6th, 7th, and 8th. There you see ages ranging from 10-17. Although, clearly most of these youths from those grades were ages 11-15. We also were able to provide the survey in Spanish for those that were monolingual Spanish-speaking. There you see 81% of the sample were English speaking. The survey, then, was conducted with them in English and Spanish speaking 18.4%. Here, we wanted to test some hypotheses. These are predictions of what we think would happen. We have hypothesis 1 that wondered about whether ethnic pride was a contributor to doing well in avoiding alcohol and tobacco. So, ethnic pride was one and traditional family values. So, we hypothesized that higher ethnic pride and lower traditional family values would be associated– that is higher traditional family values–would be associated with lower levels of alcohol and cigarette use. Put another way, the protective effects of ethnic pride and traditional family values as it relates to avoiding alcohol and tobacco use. Hypothesis 2: higher levels of acculturation would be associated, we felt, with higher levels of alcohol and cigarette use, consistent with what’s been seen in adult populations–that with acculturation there is more substance use. Hypothesis 3 looked at this construct of avoidance self-efficacy, that is the confidence that students had in being able to say, “No,” to offers from others to use tobacco or alcohol This, in the model had the role of a mediator, which means that it works in conjunction with the other variables of ethnic pride, family traditionalism, or again, other of these predictors In this case, we felt that avoidance self-efficacy would be compounded by these others. Hypothesis 4 is the opposite. We asked students actually whether they thought that smoking cigarettes was beneficial–that it was something neat to do in order to avoid the bias that maybe tobacco is necessarily bad for you. So, we have the variable of perceived benefits of cigarette smoking We hypothesized that higher levels of cigarette smoking will mediate, that will be another

factor, that is associated with the effects on tobacco and alcohol use, specifically cigarette and alcohol as influenced by ethnic pride, family traditionalism, and acculturation earlier in this chain of events. This is the model and as you can see on the left we have ethnic pride, traditional family values, and acculturation as those startup conditions that work their way through. As you see in the middle, the avoidance self-efficacy and the benefits of cigarette smoking. The outcomes on the right would be use of cigarettes and of alcohol So, a little bit on the measurement, I won’t spend time on the details but clearly when we test a model we have to measure the constructs For the acculturation construct, the basic question was, on the survey, “Do you mostly speak English or another language?” Then, we asked, “At home, at school, or with friends?” So, these are 3 questions and the answers range from 1 was equal to only Spanish or another language, and 4 only English. By that, we could test then measure how much they had acculturation or that was the identified score would give an acculturation value for each student. We see that this was a strong scale with the alpha of 0.86. From that we were also able to identify subgroups that differ in acculturation, low acculturation, bicultural, and high based on cutoff scores that we’ve used in the past. The next variable, again I won’t go into details, but this is called family traditionalism, 8 items that looked at ways of life. Number 1, as you see there, “My parents are very traditional. They believe in the old ways.” Another item, “Traditions (the ‘old ways’ of culture) are good and should be kept.” So, this measured this notion of family traditionalism. Here, we have ethnic pride, measured with 4 items. It basically asked questions such as, “About belonging to [your] ethnic or cultural group, how do you feel?” with 0 not proud–I hate it or 4 very proud–I really like it. You can see the other items that get at how they relate to their ethnic or cultural group. These are the 3 measures, items that assess ethnic pride You can see that these were a good scale as measured with those 4 items. This is a very busy slide and I won’t spend time on it, but it just gives for those interested, the psychometric characteristics of the variables of interest here ethnic pride, traditional family values, acculturation, and then we have other variables looking at age, avoidance self-efficacy, and benefits of cigarette smoking. You see all the details that were necessary to test this model. Finally, the outcome variables cigarette use as measured by lifetime cigarette use, days used in the past month, and cigarette smoke per day as indicators. Then, for alcohol it was lifetime use and use of alcohol in the past month. This correlation matrix, again for those interested, you can take a look at the associations that were evident here and I won’t spend time on them. What we have is that the correlations for boys are above the diagonal and those for girls below the diagonal. Notable correlations, this is taking that matrix and what are things to take away from it? Self-efficacy in substance use was negatively correlated with cigarette use and with alcohol use both with boys and girls We’re glad to see that because we would hope that that’s the case. The more confident that you feel that you can avoid it the less, in fact, you use cigarettes and alcohol. For the perceived benefits of cigarette smoking, that’s positively associated with the use of both substances in both boys and girls, and you would expect that. Those that have a positive attitude towards their use indeed use at higher frequencies. The correlations for girls show that cultural variables of ethnic pride and family traditionalism were negatively correlated with cigarette use and alcohol use. So, girls showed the protective effects of ethnic pride and family traditionalism. For boys, family traditions were negatively correlated with cigarette and alcohol use, but ethnic pride was not. So, there’s a little bit of a gender difference in how these variables relate to the avoidance or the non-use of cigarettes and alcohol. Acculturation was positively correlated with cigarette and alcohol use for girls, but not for boys. Again, a little difference by gender. This is the model for girls, and again, you can see all the pathways that are then examined. Those effects I mentioned before show up in this model for girls. Here, is

the model for boys. Again, my goal here was simply to give you the overview. It basically shows that acculturation and its protective effects, you see it for girls but not for boys, but avoidance self-efficacy and ethnic pride are important factors as well. Avoidance self-efficacy was shown to be effective as a protector for boys and girls, ethnic pride only for girls, but not for boys. These then, you might think about in terms of working with adolescents to try to avoid the early use of alcohol and tobacco. How could you, as a social worker, use these constructs of acculturation, ethnic pride, avoidance self-efficacy as ways to try to work with these individuals to help them avoid substance use and the negative effects of the use of those substances early in their development. Now, we’re starting section 5: Results & Conclusions. In this brief section, what I’d like to do is to give you the take home message based on the quite detailed set of presentations that preceded it that involved these complex models. When we look at these complex models based on actual data from the community with adolescents what does this all mean? And that’s really what’s important to many that are practicing in the community. What do I do with this information? Taking the academic information, if you will, and then bring it down to the community. How do we work with it? Let me see what we can do to try and then give you this take home message in section 5. This is the summary of results then. Ethnic pride and traditional family values exhibited an indirect effect on cigarette smoking, that is that they are related to cigarette smoking, but not without introducing the mediator, the mediated effect of avoidance self-efficacy and perceived benefits of cigarette smoking. Put another way, ethnic pride, traditional family values are important determinants of early tobacco use and early alcohol use in adolescents, but not by themselves Their effects are also influenced through the effects of avoidance self-efficacy. What does that mean? We can benefit from ethnic pride, traditional family values as these can complement the avoidance of cigarette and tobacco, but not without teaching skills–refusal skills to enhance their avoidance self-efficacy, their confidence to say, “No,” to early use of tobacco and cigarettes. So, in other words, the protective effects are contingent upon teaching our children how to say, “No,” in a way that empowers them. Also, we want to reduce the attitude which is negative that is perceived benefits of cigarette smoking For an adolescent, you might recall, that thinks that it’s really cool and neat to smoke cigarettes and you get a lot of benefits from doing so, they’re going to smoke more. They’re also going to use alcohol more. So, we need to change their attitudes and get them to see that the perceived benefits of cigarette smoking are not that good compared to the negative effects to health and relationship with others that comes from smoking cigarettes Other effects that are worth remembering among girls, greater ethnic pride had a direct effect on less alcohol use. Now, here’s an interesting pattern because there’s no mediation here It suggests that if we can increase ethnic pride in Mexican heritage girls that can have a protective effect against alcohol use, which is something that we need to see in new research just how strong that effect is. We also saw, as you might recall, greater acculturation directly predicted more cigarette and alcohol use amongst girls that is, more acculturation more alcohol and cigarette use amongst girls By contrast, more acculturation was not related to substance use in boys. So, there is a difference in how boys and girls respond to the risks of substance use as it relates to greater levels of acculturation. Point number 3 that you see there, differences between boys and girls however, were generally small and not significant as revealed in the overall models In other words, boys and girls are not that different overall, but there are pockets of difference as you see there, especially in how acculturation manifests itself and their risk–as related to their risk of the use of alcohol and cigarettes. Some other take-home messages: promoting adaptive acculturation and a healthy lifestyle amongst these youths involves scientifically informed application of these cultural variables in the design

of prevention interventions. Put another way, we want to put this data to work so we make interventions that really work, and not interventions that we think will, but the data doesn’t show that they work at all. That’s why these models are so important. So, then this approach also emphasizes the integration of science and culture, which I think is very important to make it relevant to kids that come from different cultural backgrounds. This allows us to develop and create culturally-relevant prevention interventions, because they’re based on evidence not on conjecture. That’s why this research is so important in informing social workers and others on what works and what doesn’t, and in which conditions, and even for whom Are there different effects for boys or for girls? The goal is to take the evidence that we have from the lab, so to speak, and take it to the community. So, the difference between efficacy, that is and effectiveness. There is a caveat, that means a slight warning, that is that this is cross-sectional data so it doesn’t have the longitudinal effect that we would have in a stronger study, but it does provide hypotheses that were logically consistent, that is that they really do give us a meaningful pattern that makes sense in the real world. The effects are also useful because, as I mentioned before, they give us information that can help us design culturally relevant drug prevention intervention for Mexican-heritage adolescents. Hopefully, these take home messages are interesting and informative for you as you think about how you would take the results of these models and actually practice them, whether delivering an intervention or simply doing one-to-one or group counseling, or interventions of an individualized type with adolescents in trying to help them to avoid the use of cigarettes and alcohol, then, of course these being gateway drugs typically for the use of other drugs and other problem behaviors So, that ends section number 5. We’ll cover section 6 in just a bit. We’re now on section 6 which is “Questions for Discussions.” What I would like to do is present two detailed questions that I would encourage you and your instructor to go over as you put together everything presented earlier to try to understand what’s going on, have various opinions, ideas on the evidence presented, and to help you think through what does this mean and how you, as social workers, can apply this information to your work in the field. Here are the two questions. Question number 1: How does deconstructing, that means taking it apart and understanding the pieces, how does deconstructing the complex construct of “culture” into cultural factors and cultural variables aid in the analysis of cultural influences, how these effect specific health related outcomes, and in particular, youth tobacco and alcohol use. In other words, how do we then understand the role culture plays in protecting or not protecting against the early use of youth tobacco and alcohol Second question: Among Mexican-heritage adolescents, how may cultural variables, or those that we looked at before, of acculturation, family traditionalism, and ethnic pride–how could they operate as sources of cultural capital and resilience, and also how do they influence risks, that is operating as risks or protective factors against youth substance use. The goal here is to get you to think about these different ideas, the complex entity of culture, and its pieces the cultural variables as they can help you understand how to do better social work in the community, and also to read about these variables or factors in the works of others, either in the past or new articles that are emerging in the field. With that, thank you very much for listening, and I hope that this has been very helpful in helping you to be even stronger social workers out in the community