Abstract: Developmental Cascade Model of Alcohol Use, Depression, and School Belonging Among Mexican Youth (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

08 Developmental Cascade Model of Alcohol Use, Depression, and School Belonging Among Mexican Youth

Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Pacific D/L (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Marvyn R. Arévalo Avalos, MA, Doctoral Student, Arizona State University, Mesa, AZ
Stephanie Ayers, PhD, Associate Director of Research and Research Faculty, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Flavio F. Marsiglia, PhD, Center Director, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Stephen S. Kulis, PhD, Cowden Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
Bertha Nuño-Gutierrez, PhD, Director, Instituto IMEG de Guadalajara, Providencia, Jalisco, Mexico
M. Dolores Corona, PhD, Investigator, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, San Nicolás de los Garza, Mexico
Maria Elena Medina-Mora, PhD, Director, Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatria Ramon de la Fuente Muñiz, Ciudad de México, Mexico
Miguel A. Mendoza, MD, Investigator, Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente, Mexico City, Mexico
Examining developmental trajectories of risk and protective factors for internalized and externatlized problems among youth can help improve prevention efforts. The current study used a cross-lagged panel analysis to examine the directional influence that alcohol use, depressive symptomology, and school belonging have on each other across time among Mexican youth. Quantitative survey data were collected from 7thto 9thgrade students (N = 4446) across 17 schools in Guadalajara, Monterey, and Mexico City. Participants were randomized into a school-based substance abuse prevention intervention program or a control group and data were collected at three time (T1, T2, T3) points during the academic year. The model tested the associations between 30-day alcohol use, depression as measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies–Depression Scale, and subjective sense of school belonging. The model controlled for treatment condition, location, gender, age, socio-economic status, and academic performance. Analysis was conducted in MPlus using Full Information Maximum Likelihood estimation with bootstrap methods.

Results indicated that T1 depression was a significant predictor of T3 Alcohol use and T3 school belonging. Specifically, we found a significant positive association from T1 depression to T2 alcohol use (B=0.077, SE=0.022, p < .05, 95% CI [0.038, 0.120]); in turn T2 alcohol use negatively predicted T3 school belonging (B=-0.056, SE=0.018, p < .05, 95% CI [-0.092, -0.020]). Furthermore, T1 depression negatively predicted T2 school belonging (B=-0.090, SE=0.018, p < .05, 95% CI [-0.125, -0.056]); in turn T2 school belonging negatively predicted T3 alcohol use (B=0.042, SE=0.021, p < .05, 95% CI [0.000, 0.083]). Additional paths were found between depression at T1 to T2, and from T2 depression to T3 alcohol use and T3 belonging. Finally, there was a significant path from T1 depression to T2 belonging, and T2 belonging to T3 depression. All paths were found in the expected direction; where alcohol use and depression positively predicted each other; but were negatively associated with school belonging.

Results suggest that depressive symptomology results in two trajectories of increased risk factors: 1) depression leads adolescents to increase risk for alcohol use, which in turn results in decreased sense of school belonging; and 2) depression leads adolescents to experience a lower sense of school belonging which leads to increased substance use. These results support prior research suggesting that school-wide based interventions that target a positive school climate and sense of belonging have the potential to mitigate alcohol use among adolescents (Cox, Zhang, & Bender, 2007; Fletcher, Bonell, Hargreaves, 2008). Based on the findings of this study, it may be important to develop interventions that increase sense of school belonging as a resiliency factor for reducing risk of substance use among adolescents, especially among those experiencing mental health concerns.