Epidemiology of Drinking and Disorders in Border vs. Non-Border Contexts

  • Funding: NIAAA R01 AA018365
  • Principal Investigator: Cheryl Cherpitel, DrPH; Guilherme Borges, DrSc.


The research aims to describe and explain alcohol use patterns and related problems among Mexican-origin adults living in three pairs of sister metropolitan areas at the Texas-Mexico border, plus, as a contrast, in one adjacent non-border metropolitan area on each side of the border as follows: 1) describe alcohol and drug use patterns and alcohol use disorders in border vs. non-border context on both sides of the border; 2) test a conceptual model explaining the effects of border variables on alcohol and drug use outcomes; 3) describe cross-border mobility on both sides and determine the impact of cross-border mobility on alcohol and drug use patterns and alcohol use disorders. Survey data, from face-to-face household interviews, will be collected on 2,400 Mexican-origin adults over the age of 18 living in three border metropolitan areas (Laredo, McAllen and Brownsville), and one non-border metropolitan area (San Antonio) in Texas, and on 2,400 adults living in three sister metropolitan border counterparts (Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa and Matamoros), and one non-border metropolitan area in Mexico. Hazardous drinking, alcohol use disorders, and drug use are compared between respondents in border and non-border metropolitan areas on both sides, and between those in Texas and their counterparts in Mexican sister metropolitan areas. Path analysis will be used to test the conceptual model. These findings are expected to increase our understanding of alcohol use patterns and problems in the border context, including the influence of cross-border mobility, and provide valuable data for formulating hypotheses which can be explored in a broader border context. Findings from this proposal will inform intervention and prevention strategies within the border context, as well as within the context of the broader Mexican-origin community as border individuals move to the interior of the US.