Comparison of heavy episodic drinking patterns between Korean and Chinese immigrants

Danielle E. Ruderman, John D. Clapp, C. Richard Hofstetter, Veronica Irvin, Sunny Kang, Melbourne F. Hovell

Abstract


Ruderman, D., Clapp, J., Hofstetter, C., Irvin, V., Kang, S., & Hovell, M. (2016). Comparison of heavy episodic drinking patterns between Korean and Chinese immigrants. The International Journal Of Alcohol And Drug Research, 5(2), 65-71. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v5i2.220

Objective: Drinking-related problems are increasing among Asian immigrants despite the popular perceptions of a “model minority.” Sociocultural factors may relate to differing drinking patterns among subsets of Asian American populations. This study explores the relationship between nationality and alcohol consumption among Chinese and Korean Americans, specifically in regards to acculturation and social networks.

Method: First-generation Chinese and Korean immigrants residing in the greater Los Angeles area were recruited (N= 2715). Structured interviews were conducted over the phone and by professional bilingual interviewers in the language of participant preference.

Results: Although subsamples were demographically similar, Chinese immigrants were less likely to report heavy episodic drinking (HED) than Korean immigrants. Participants in each group with social networks composed of drinkers or problem drinkers and those that encouraged drinking were more likely to report HED themselves.

Conclusions: Alcohol consumption and its dynamics are impacted by peer networks among first-generation Chinese and Koreans residing in the United States. While drinking behaviors differ for Chinese and Korean immigrants, the impact of peer’s drinking behaviors on one’s own drinking is paramount. This result has important implications for interventions and the need for further research focusing on the impact of peer interactions and alcohol use among this population.


Keywords


Heavy episodic drinking; Korean immigrants; Chinese immigrants; social network

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v5i2.220

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