Acculturation and parental attachment in Asian-American adolescents' alcohol use.

Hyeouk C. Hahm, Maureen Lahiff, Neil B. Guterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To test whether the degree of acculturation predicts subsequent alcohol use among Asian-American adolescents, and to test the moderating effect of parental attachment. METHODS: This was a prospective study using a subsample of the National Longitudinal Adolescent Health data set. A nationally representative sample of 714 Asian-American boys (n = 332) and girls (n = 382) in grades 7-12 was analyzed. In-home self-report data were collected on two types of acculturation status, alcohol use, demographics, and parental attachment. After controlling for acculturation status and background variables at Wave I, logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the odds ratios to assess the association between acculturation and alcohol use at Wave II for adolescents. RESULTS: Asian-American adolescents with the highest level of acculturation (English use at home, born in the United States) were identified as the highest risk group. For adolescents with low parental attachment, the odds of alcohol use were 11 times greater in the highly acculturated group than in the least acculturated group. However, the odds of alcohol use for adolescents with moderate or high levels of parental attachment did not vary across acculturation groups. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, a greater level of acculturation was associated with greater alcohol use. However, when parental attachment was taken into account, highly acculturated adolescents with moderate or high parental attachment had no greater risk than adolescents with same levels of parental attachment who were less acculturated. Thus, it appears that acculturation per se was not a risk factor unless it was accompanied by a low level of parental attachment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-129
Number of pages11
JournalThe Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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