Mexican-Americans in California

Intracultural Variation in Attitudes and Behavior Related to Alcohol
  • M. Jean Gilbert


There is no one set of beliefs, norms, and behaviors associated with the use of alcohol among Mexican-Americans in California. To understand why this is so, it is necessary to consider some of the characteristics of the Mexican-American population that makes up nearly one fifth of the state’s peoples. This group includes an estimated 1 to 3 million resident aliens, as well as many times that number who are second-, third-, and fourth-generation Americans. Successive waves of heavy immigration from Mexico, beginning in about 1910 and continuing to the present, have brought hundreds of thousands of persons from all parts of rural and urban Mexico to California. And in the last two decades, as second- and third-generation Mexican-Americans have reached maturity, considerable out-marriage has taken place, resulting in families of mixed heritage.


Drinking Behavior Drinking Pattern Migrant Farmworker Dance Floor Resident Alien 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ablon, J. Family behavior and alcoholism. In M. W. Everett, J. O. Waddell, & D. B. Heath (Eds.), Cross-cultural approaches to the study of alcohol. The Hague, Holland: Mouton, 1971.Google Scholar
  2. Alcocer, A., & Gilbert, M. J. Drinking practices and alcohol related problems of Spanish-speaking persons in three California locales. Sacramento: California Office of Drug and Alcohol Programs, 1979.Google Scholar
  3. Bacon, S. D. Excessive drinking and the institution of the family. In Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol (Ed.), Alcohol, Science and Society. New Haven, CT: Summer School of Alcoholism Studies, 1945.Google Scholar
  4. Cahalen, D., Roizen, R., & Room, R. Alcohol problems and their prevention: Public attitudes in California. In R. Room & S. Sheffield (Eds.), The prevention of alcohol problems. Sacramento: California Office of Alcoholism, 1976.Google Scholar
  5. Gilbert, M. J. Extended family integration. In J. M. Casas & S. E. Keefe (Eds.), Family and mental health in the Mexican-American community (Monograph Number Seven). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, Spanish-speaking Meantal Health Research Center, 1978.Google Scholar
  6. Gilbert, M. J. Los parientes: Social structural factors and kinship relations among second generation Mexican Americans. Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1980 [Dissertation Abstracts International 1981, 42, 4959A-END. (University Microfilms No. DA8207651)].Google Scholar
  7. Gilbert, M. J. The transition to parenthood: Mexican American and Anglo American first time parents and their networks of support. National Institute of Mental Health Grant No. MH 31882, 1981a.Google Scholar
  8. Gilbert, M. J. Cultural determinants in alcoholism help seeking. National Institute of Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse. Grant No. AA05172, 1981b.Google Scholar
  9. Gomberg, E. L. Special populations. In E. L. Gomberg, H. R. White, & J. A. Carpenter (Eds.), Alcohol, science and society revisited. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1982.Google Scholar
  10. Hill, R. Generic features of families under stress. Social Casework, 1958, 39, 139–152.Google Scholar
  11. Johnson, L., & Matre, M. Anomia and alcohol use: Drinking patterns in Mexican American and Anglo neighborhoods. Quarterly Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 1978, 39, 894–902.Google Scholar
  12. Keefe, E. Urbanization, acculturation, and extended family ties: Mexican Americans in cities. American Ethnologist, 1979, 6, 349–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Keefe, S. E., Padilla, A., & Carlos, M. The Mexican American family as an emotional support system. Human Organization, 1979, 38, 144–152.Google Scholar
  14. Maril, R. L., & Zavaleta, A. N. Applications of anthropological research on Mexican American drinking patterns in the lower Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology, Merida, Mexico, April 1978.Google Scholar
  15. Mirandé, A., & Enriquez, E. La Chicana. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979.Google Scholar
  16. Moore, J. with A. Cuellar. Mexican Americans. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1970.Google Scholar
  17. Murillo, N. The Mexican American family. In N. N. Wagner & M. J. Haug (Eds.), Chicanos: A social and psychological perspective. Saint Louis, MO: Mosby, 1971.Google Scholar
  18. Paine, H. J. Attitudes and patterns of alcohol use among Mexican Americans. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 1977, 38, 544–562.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Paolino, T. J., & McCrady, B. S. The alcoholic marriage: Alternative perspectives. New York: Grune & Stratton, 1977.Google Scholar
  20. Ramirez, O. Extended family phenomena and mental health among urban Mexican Americans (Monograph Number One). Reston, VA: Latino Institute, 1980.Google Scholar
  21. Trotter, R. T. The Mexican American experience with alcohol: South Texas examples. Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, DC, December 1982.Google Scholar
  22. U. S. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol and health; Third special report to the U. S. Congress from the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, June 1978. E. P. Noble (Ed.) (DHEW Publ. No. HDM 79-832). Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1979.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Jean Gilbert
    • 1
  1. 1.Spanish Speaking Mental Health Research CenterUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

Personalised recommendations