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Title: Predictors of substance use in Brazilian immigrants in the UK : the role of acculturation
Author: Canfield, Martha Jirkowsky
ISNI:       0000 0004 5921 9971
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2015
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In general, scholars agree that there are several contextual factors influencing immigrants in the UK to use alcohol and other drugs. Not much is known however about how and to what extend acculturative changes are influencing substance use in immigrants and members of minority ethnic groups. This study aims to develop a better understanding of the predictors of substance use by exploring the impact that acculturative changes have in patterns of substance use amongst Brazilian immigrants in the UK. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was adopted in a cross-national research sample compromised of Brazilian participants residing in the UK (n=164) and Brazilian participants residing in Brazil (n=161). Initially, quantitative analysis was carried out to explore country differences in types, frequency, and predictors of substance use. The quantitative analysis was followed by qualitative data collection to explore in-depth complex issues related to social and cultural factors that underlie the susceptibility of Brazilian immigrants to use alcohol and other drugs. Thematic Analysis was adopted to analyse the qualitative data. It was observed that Brazilians who had immigrated to the UK showed an overall increase in the frequency with which they used substances, however, significant differences were only found in recreational drug use, poly-substance use, and binge drinking. Such shifts were influenced by attitudes, values, and behavioural changes, and were strongly predicted by the stress caused by threat to cultural identity. Both drinking for social motives and gender differences predicted involvement in substance use in Brazilians in the UK and in Brazil, whereas resilience, impulsivity, positive and negative affect, and reasons for drinking motivated by conformity and coping where found to have no effect on patterns of substance use in either of the samples. Overall, it seems that, whilst Brazilians in the UK are motivated by negative reinforcement processes to use substances (e.g. coping), in Brazil participants are motivated by positive reinforcement processes (e.g. enhancement). High contact with both British and Brazilian cultures will only predict substance use when threat to cultural identity moderates this relationship. Brazilian immigrants new to the UK are at greater risk for substance use independent of any acculturative strategies or stresses. Length of residence in the UK does not predict the adoption of integration strategies and the stresses caused by acculturation can be experienced throughout the life course of the Brazilian immigrants in the UK.
Supervisor: Gilvarry, Catherine ; Worrell, Marcia Sponsor: Santander Universities Scheme
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Substance use disorders ; Personality traits ; Confirmatory factor analysis