Asian American adolescents' acculturation, binge drinking, and alcohol- and tobacco-using peers

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the association between acculturation and subsequent binge drinking among Asian American adolescents and investigates the mediating effect of friends' alcohol and tobacco use. Data from a nationally representative sample of 714 Asian American adolescents in grades 7 to 12 were analyzed. There was no gender difference in terms of binge drinking. A higher level of acculturation was associated with higher levels of binge drinking. Friends' alcohol and tobacco use was a mediator-the association between acculturation and binge drinking was no longer significant after controlling for best friends' alcohol and tobacco use. These findings demonstrate that binge drinking is not attributable to acculturation per se, but that social interaction is an important pathway by which highly acculturated adolescents become vulnerable to binge drinking. Since highly acculturated Asian American adolescents are at risk for binge drinking, there is an urgent need for prevention. Incorporating the effect of peer influences will improve both prevention efforts and treatment for Asian American adolescents who are binge drinkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-308
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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