SWOV Catalogus

105340

Differences in services utilization between white and Mexican American DUI arrestees.
C 26691 [electronic version only]
Cherpitel, C.J.
Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, Vol. 25 (2001), No. 1 (January), p. 122-127, 25 ref.

Samenvatting Hispanics traditionally have been considered an underserved population in relation to medical care and related services utilization. Selected health and social services utilization (both alcohol-specific and non-alcohol-specific) during the last year was compared between a sample of 249 Mexican American (half of whom were born in Mexico) and 250 white participants interviewed in all five DUI (driving under the influence) treatment programs in one northern California county. Among those who met DSM-IV criteria for alcohol dependence and/or alcohol abuse, 49% of the white subjects compared with 59% of the Mexican American subjects reported no utilization, 77% of whites and 82% of Mexican Americans reported no utilization in which drinking was a factor, and 70% of whites and 80% of Mexican Americans reported no contact with an alcohol program. Mexican Americans were also significantly less likely to report contact with more than one program, and among Mexican Americans, those born in Mexico were significantly less likely to report utilization than those born in the U.S. The data suggest that despite the higher rates of heavy drinking found among Mexican American DUI arrestees (especially those born in Mexico) in this sample, Mexican Americans with an alcohol use disorder are less likely to use health and social services than whites, and this may be related to country of birth and related variables that include health insurance. Significance: The data suggest that DUI programs may offer one of the few opportunities Mexican American problem drinkers have of establishing contact with the health and social service system and, as such, would be well positioned to also offer other types of alcohol-related health and social services and referrals to this underserved population. These findings have implications for intervention efforts for problem drinking and prevention of DUI among Mexican Americans, which are a rapidly growing ethnic minority in California. (Author/publisher)
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