Academic and Ethnic Identity’s Moderating Effects on Intergenerational Conflict, Academic Motivation and Alcohol Outcomes Relationship Within First-Year Hispanic College Students’

Ashley Marie Lindquist, University of Texas at El Paso


While alcohol use is a public health concern for all college students, first-year college students are at higher risk for drinking and experiencing alcohol consequences. The increased risk may be attributed to the stress of transitioning from high school to college. For many of these students, this is their first-time gaining independence and trying to find out how they fit into society. Family conflict commonly occurs when students start college because they develop their values and beliefs, especially Hispanic college students. Intergenerational conflict (IGC) is a subtype of parent-child conflict that arises when the child deviates from traditional Hispanic values, attitudes, and beliefs. Little research examines how IGC, specifically conflict within domains of family expectations (FE), education and career (EC), and dating and marriage (DM), affects alcohol use and academic motivation among first-year college students. Despite this knowledge gap, studies have shown that Hispanic college students who experience IGC are likely to have more alcohol-related problems and consume more alcohol. Further, limited research has examined potential protective factors that could buffer the adverse effects associated with IGC. Ethnic identity has been found to decrease drinking and family conflict and increase academic achievement among Hispanic college students. Additionally, academic identity fosters motivation for academic achievement among college students. The current study is among the first to examine IGC and academic identity among first-year Hispanic college students. Further, the study is among the first to investigate if academic identity could be a protective factor regarding IGC. This study aims to explore the influence of identity, including ethnic and academic identity (e.g., achieved, moratorium, foreclosed, and diffused) on the relationship of intergenerational conflict (e.g., family expectations, education/career, and dating/marriage) to academic motivation (e.g., amotivation, intrinsic, and extrinsic motivation) and alcohol (e.g., use and consequences). Participants (n=268, 78.2% female) completed a two-timepoint survey to assess intergenerational conflict, alcohol use, consequences, academic motivation, and ethnic and academic identity. Five path analysis models were used to investigate the relationships between our time point 1 predictor variables, IGC (i.e., FE, EC, and DM) and identity, as well as our time point two outcome variables, alcohol outcomes, and academic motivation. Results indicated that IGC-DM had a direct effect on alcohol use. Moreover, results suggest that when ethnic and academic identities were introduced, all aspects of IGC had relationships with alcohol use or consequences. In contrast, IGC had no direct effect on the three aspects of academic motivation (i.e., motivation, intrinsic, and extrinsic motivation). Like our alcohol outcome, academic identity had a moderating effect on motivation and intrinsic motivation. Our results show that identity and IGC are complex and that different combinations can be protective or risky toward alcohol outcomes and academic motivation. Future research should focus on developing culturally informed interventions to support Hispanic college students and other ethnic minority students navigating and balancing culture and academics.

Subject Area

Psychology|Educational administration|Clinical psychology|Public health

Recommended Citation

Lindquist, Ashley Marie, "Academic and Ethnic Identity’s Moderating Effects on Intergenerational Conflict, Academic Motivation and Alcohol Outcomes Relationship Within First-Year Hispanic College Students’" (2024). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI31140675.