Gender and Cultural Adaptations for Diversity: A Systematic Review of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Interventions for Latino Males

Luis A. Valdez, Melissa Flores, John Ruiz, Eyal - Oren, Scott Carvajal, David O. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Latino men are disproportionately affected by the consequences of alcohol and substance abuse when compared to non-Latino white men. Latino men also face greater barriers to accessing, engaging, and completing alcohol and substance abuse treatment services. Culturally adapted interventions are promoted to overcome these barriers. However, the effectiveness of these efforts is unclear. Objectives: The purpose of this review was to summarize the published evidence regarding gender-adapted and culturally adapted alcohol and substance abuse treatment that aims to improve physical, behavioral, and social outcomes in Latino men. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted for articles reporting on culturally and/or gender-adapted alcohol and/or substance abuse interventions designed exclusively for Latino adults, including a Latino population sample of at least 10% and any proportion of Latino male participants. A thematic analysis based on predetermined themes was used to evaluate the nature of adaptations. Results: Searches yielded 2685 titles, resulting in 12 articles that fit review parameters. The most scientifically rigorous findings suggest culturally adapted interventions may outperform standard treatment. Nevertheless, a fraction of the interventions did not improve outcomes compared to standard treatment. Considering the scarce number of publications, it is difficult to discern if null findings reflect ineffective interventions or methodological limitations. Conclusions: While studies are limited and findings are mixed, culturally tailored work shows promise. The growth rate of the Latino population and the current epidemic nature of substance abuse in the United States generate urgency to identify methods to diminish the disparate burden of alcohol and substance abuse in Latinos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1608-1623
Number of pages16
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 24 2018


  • Latino health
  • alcohol abuse
  • cultural adaptations
  • cultural responsiveness
  • men's health
  • substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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