Acculturation, Peer Influence, Alcohol Protective Behavioral Strategies, and Alcohol Use and Related Problems among Asian and Pacific Islander College Students
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Despite popular perceptions, rates of alcohol use have gradually increased in Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) college students. Both acculturation and peer influence have been identified as factors contributing to variations in drinking behavior among this population. However, less is known about the experience of alcohol-related problems. The current study assessed the use of alcohol protective behavioral strategies as a potential causal pathway to drinking behavior and alcohol-related problems among an ethnically diverse sample of APIA college students (N = 449). Results from path analyses indicated that: (1) greater orientation towards U.S. culture had a positive relationship with increased use of harm reduction strategies, e.g. using a designated driver, and an inverse relationship with drinking moderation strategies; e.g. avoiding shots of liquor (2) greater peer drinking predicted fewer protective behaviors and increased drinking; (3) use of serious harm reduction strategies predicted decreased alcohol-related problems; (4) use of stopping/limiting strategies was associated with increased drinking; and (5) greater use of drinking moderation strategies was related to decreased drinking which in turn would predict decreased alcohol-related problems. Similar patterns emerged when testing the model for specific API subgroups, i.e. Korean and Chinese Americans. The study contributed to the growing literature examining the links between acculturation and problematic drinking. Results have implications for the development of culturally sensitive treatment and prevention programs targeting alcohol protective behaviors toward this diverse and growing population.
- Psychology