This paper examines the association between drinking context use by Whites and Hispanics on and off the US/Mexico border and alcohol problems.
Data come from a household sample of 1209 adults 18 to 39 years of age resident in Imperial County on the California/Mexico border; and Kern, Tulare, and Madera in California’s Central Valley. Data were collected on the phone or online and analyzed with an ordinal generalized linear model.
The pattern of statistically significant associations between the frequency and the volume of drinking in different contexts varies across problem types. Furthermore, some contexts of drinking are associated with problems in more than one area. For instance, frequency of drinking at bars/pubs is associated with social problems, risky sex, and fights, but not with injuries. Injuries are associated with the frequency of drinking at home alone or with family and at restaurants. Volume of drinking at bars/pubs is also significantly associated with three different contexts: social problems, injury, and fights. But the volume of drinking at the home of friends or relatives is associated with fights only. Border location is an effect modifier, changing the effect of frequency of drinking at bars and pubs from protective to a factor of risk for social problems and fights.
These results provide support for the social ecology of drinking and micro environmental factors or risk. The effect of border location on frequency of drinking in bars/pubs underlines the importance of the macro environment in problem generation.