Biculturality and HIV-risk behaviors among puerto rican drug users in New York City

Sung Yeon Kang, Sherry Deren, Milton Mino, Dharma E. Cortés

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biculturality refers to two independent processes of acculturation, one to the host society's culture and another to the culture of origin. This study examined the relationship between biculturality and HIV-related risk behaviors in a sample of injecting and noninjecting Puerto Rican drug users (N = 259), recruited in New York City in 2005-2006. Biculturality was measured by two scales: involvement in (i) American culture (AMBIC) and (ii) Puerto Rican culture Biculturality (PRBIC). The majority (78%) of the participants were males, with a mean age of 42 years. About half were born in Puerto Rico, and the average length of stay in the United States was 26 years. In multiple logistic-regression analysis, AMBIC was significantly related to lower injection risk after controlling for other factors including gender, age, and MMTP enrollment, while PRBIC was a significant predictor of higher sex risk. Involvement in the host culture and the culture of origin differed in their relationship to risk behaviors, indicating that incorporating assessments of biculturality may be useful in assessing and addressing migrants' behaviors, including HIV-risk behaviors. The study's limitations have been noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-592
Number of pages15
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Acculturation
  • Biculturality
  • HIV-related risk behaviors
  • Puerto Rican migrant drug users

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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