Despite the progress made with the disparities paradigm in linking socioeconomic disadvantage to heavy drinking and other alcohol problems, there is limited understanding of disadvantage as it affects Asian American drinking. Common markers of socioeconomic status may not adequately capture the social position affecting Asian American drinking, but there is a lack of indicators of socioeconomic disadvantage specifically derived from Asian American experiences. Further, little is known about sociocultural conditions that may modify the effects of disadvantage on drinking. To address these gaps, the proposed research aims to investigate the relationship between disadvantage and two drinking outcomes?heavy drinking and alcohol use disorder?among Asian American adults and the ways in which this relationship is modified by sociocultural factors, specifically, social support, ethnic identification, and drinking prevalence and detrimental drinking pattern in the country of origin (COO). Using a nationally-representative adult sample from the 2002-3 National Latino and Asian American Survey (Asian N=2095), three primary aims will be addressed. First, we will examine the relationships between three alternative indicators of disadvantage (i.e., subjective social standing, financial strain, and perceived labor market discrimination) and drinking outcomes. Second, we will examine whether social support and ethnic identification, conceptualized primarily as protective resources, moderate the relationship between disadvantage and problem drinking. Third, we will evaluate whether COO drinking prevalence and detrimental drinking pattern modify the relationships between disadvantage and drinking outcomes, as well as the moderating effects of social support and ethnic identification of these relationships. COO drinking prevalence and detrimental drinking pattern represent cultural disparities adversely affecting Asian Americans originating from countries where drinking is prevalent and/or detrimental. We hypothesize that the association between disadvantage and drinking outcomes will be stronger for Asian Americans originating from countries where drinking is more prevalent or of more detrimental pattern. We also hypothesize that the effects of social support and ethnic identification will be less protective, or even adverse, for Asian Americans originating from countries where drinking is more prevalent or detrimental.
The knowledge to be gained from this research can aid alcohol prevention and intervention programming to address problem drinking in Asian American communities. Given the tremendous cultural and socioeconomic diversity within the Asian population in the U.S., it is critical to target high-risk subgroups with tailored interventions. This research will help identify such subgroups using information on the drinking patterns of the country of origin, in combination with other demographic characteristics such as gender, nativity, and socioeconomic status. Also, by identifying modifiable sociocultural mechanisms that are likely to increase alcohol-related harms for high-risk subgroups, project findings will be valuable for developing interventions targeted at such groups to address these mechanisms.