Despite high rates of heavy drinking among Asian American adolescents and increasing prevalence of alcohol dependence and abuse among Asian American young adults, little research has been reported on predictors of Asian American adolescent drinking and their outcomes in young adulthood. The acculturation-focused approach taken in this research is limiting in that, due to the preoccupation with acculturation, predictors of adolescent and young adult drinking identified as important for other populations have not been sufficiently incorporated. There is also a paucity of longitudinal research to establish causal relationships between predictors and drinking outcomes. Despite the great socioeconomic and cultural diversity among Asian American adolescents and young adults, few studies have investigated subgroup-specific risk and protective factors of their drinking or the effects of cultural and socioeconomic environments on their drinking. To fill these gaps, we propose a secondary analysis of a longitudinal Asian American sample (N=1,425) extracted from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health data. Using latent growth curve models, we will test hypotheses that low attachment to parents, low parental control, more close friends who drink, low academic performance, low school bonding, and high alcohol availability will be associated with higher initial levels of alcohol use in adolescence and with increases in alcohol use over time. In addition, we will examine interactions between ethnic drinking culture, generational status, and neighborhood SES with individual-level predictors of Asian American adolescents'trajectories of alcohol use. Our efforts will also include identifying high risk subgroups of Asian American adolescents whose drinking patterns are more problematic in adolescence and more likely to lead to long-term drinking problems in young adulthood, as well as uncovering the risk factors that drive their drinking. Our findings will greatly improve knowledge of Asian American adolescent and young adult drinking and inform effective intervention strategies.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed project examines predictors of alcohol use among Asian American adolescents and young adults and if and to what extent the effects of predictors vary with immigrant status, neighborhood SES, and ethnicity. By examining predictors amenable to intervention, identifying high-risk subgroups and the predictors of their binge and other problem drinking, our findings will inform effective, culturally-appropriate, and contextually-specific intervention efforts targeted at high risk groups.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Small Research Grants (R03)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-PSE-H (80))
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Arroyo, Judith A
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United States
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Cook, Won Kim; Karriker-Jaffe, Katherine J; Bond, Jason et al. (2015) Asian American problem drinking trajectories during the transition to adulthood: ethnic drinking cultures and neighborhood contexts. Am J Public Health 105:1020-7
Cook, Won Kim; Bond, Jason; Karriker-Jaffe, Katherine J et al. (2013) Who's at risk? Ethnic drinking cultures, foreign nativity, and problem drinking among Asian American young adults. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 74:532-41