Barriers to Engaging Rural Latino Immigrant Communities in Substance Use Research

  • Katheryn Rodriguez Center for Health Disparities Research, University of California, Riverside, CA
  • Christine Newkirk The Center for Nonprofit Management, Los Angeles, CA
  • Agustin M. Anastacio Riverside City College, Riverside, CA
  • Ann M. Cheney Center for Healthy Communities, Department of Social Medicine & Population Health, School of Medicine, University of California, Riverside, CA


In this paper, we report on the barriers to engaging rural Latino immigrants in community-engaged research on substance use. There is an urgent need to engage this population, who are at risk for substance use and abuse, in research to reduce health disparities. Methods: Our work involved ethnographic unstructured interviews (n=18), a one-time Community Advisory Board, and focus groups (n=3) with 52 participants in southern California’s Coachella Valley. Results: Through an inductive analysis, we found culture, geography, and social status intersect with community-level factors (e.g., poor infrastructure) in creating barriers preventing Latino immigrants from engaging in substance use research. Conclusions: These findings show that one way to effectively address the needs of rural Latino immigrants is for researchers to develop collaborative partnerships with communities. Developing strong relationships between institutions and vulnerable populations can move us one step closer to alleviating health disparities.
How to Cite
Rodriguez, K., Newkirk, C., Anastacio, A. M., & Cheney, A. M. (2020). Barriers to Engaging Rural Latino Immigrant Communities in Substance Use Research. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 18(1), 39-52.