Objectives. Classifying youths into more homogenous groups based on their alcohol problems may lead to a more accurate diagnosis, a more precise determination of their prognosis, and ultimately, to a better, more targeted treatment. The specific aims of this study were to: (1) categorize Puerto Rican youths into groups and examine the association between the groups and problem behaviors, (2) empirically classify Puerto Rican youths by their Alcohol Abuse and Dependence (AAD) symptoms and examine the validity of the classes, and (3) empirically classify male youths in the United States (US) by their AAD symptoms and examine the validity of the classes. Methods . Aims 1 and 2 use the International Longitudinal Survey of Adolescent Health, a survey of 972 middle and high school youths in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Aim 2 is restricted to 622 lifetime alcohol users. Aim 3 utilizes the 2005, 2006, and 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally representative survey of the entire US. Aim 3 is restricted to 4594 male drinkers aged 15-17. For Aim 1 youths were categorized based on their alcohol use and AAD symptoms. For Aims 2 and 3 latent class analysis was used to examine the pattern of AAD symptom reporting among youths. These groups were then examined with respect to demographics and problem behaviors. Results. For Aim 1 six groups were created: no use in lifetime (32.1%), no past year use (14.7%), used one to nine times in the past year (32.1%), used 10 or more times in the past year (5.4%), reported one to two AAD symptoms (10.5%), and reported three or more AAD symptoms (5.2%). For Aim 2 three classes of youth were found: low severity (86.0%), moderate severity (11.7%), and high severity (2.3%). For Aim 3 four classes of male youths were found: low severity (65.6%), moderate-low behavior problems (29.2%), moderate-high behavior problems (3.0%), and high severity (2.3%). For all Aims, groups with greater alcohol problems were associated with greater problem behaviors. Conclusions. This study has implications diagnosing AAD among Puerto Rican and US youths and targeting youths to prevention and treatment programs.
|Advisor:||Latimer, William W.|
|School:||The Johns Hopkins University|
|School Location:||United States -- Maryland|
|Source:||DAI-B 71/01, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Public health, Epidemiology|
|Keywords:||Abuse, Adolescents, Alcohol, Dependence, Latent class analysis, Puerto Rico|
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