An exploratory model of substance use among Asian American women: The role of depression, coping, peer use and Asian values

Center for Addiction, Personality and Emotion Research, University of Maryland-College Park, College Park, Maryland 21742, USA.
Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse (Impact Factor: 0.65). 10/2011; 10(4):295-315. DOI: 10.1080/15332640.2011.623494
Source: PubMed


This study explored the relationship among Asian values, depressive symptoms, perceived peer substance use, coping strategies, and substance use among 167 Asian American college women. More than 66% of the women in our sample scored higher than the clinical cutoff score on the Center of Epidemiological Depression Scale. Three path analyses examining illicit drugs, alcohol use, and binge drinking indicated that perceived peer use was the most robust predictor of substance use. Depressive symptoms were positively associated with illicit drug use and alcohol consumption but were not related to binge drinking. Asian values and coping strategies were not predictive of substance use. Additional analysis revealed that avoidant coping was a strong predictor of depressive symptoms.

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    • "Another study shows that among Asian-American college women (n = 167), 21.6 percent reported binge drinking (four or more drinks within two hours for women) (Iwamoto et al., 2011). Though lower than the national average, growing substance abuse in the API population is shown to be related to psychological problems (O'Hare and Van Tran, 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the current literature uncovering specific factors associated with self-harm and suicidality among young Asian American women, as well as to present the Fractured Identity Model as a framework for understanding these factors. This paper offers concrete suggestions for the development of culturally competent interventions to target suicidality, substance abuse, and mental illness among young Asian American women. Design/methodology/approach - Empirical studies and theory-based papers featured in peer-reviewed journals between 1990 and 2014 were identified through scholarly databases, such as PubMed, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, JSTOR, and Google Scholar. Findings - We identified several factors associated with suicidality among young Asian American women: (1) family dynamics, or having lived in a household where parents practice “disempowering parenting styles,” (2) substance use/abuse, and (3) untreated mental illness(es), which are exacerbated by the stigma and shame attached to seeking out mental health services. The Fractured Identity Model by Hahm et al. (2014) is presented as a possible pathway from disempowering parenting to suicidal and self-harm behaviors among this population, with substance abuse playing a significant mediating role. Research limitations/implications – Our review focused on Asian American women, substance use among Asian Americans, and mental health among Asian Americans. Literature that focused on Asians living in Asia or elsewhere outside of the USA was excluded from this review; the review was limited to research conducted in the USA and written in the English language. Practical implications - The complex interplay among Asian American culture, family dynamics, gender roles/expectations, and mental health justifies the development of a suicide and substance abuse intervention that is tailored to the culture- and gender-specific needs of Asian Pacific Islander young women. It is imperative for professionals in the fields of public health, mental health, medicine, and substance abuse to proactively combat the “model minority” myth and to design and implement interventions targeting family dynamics, coping with immigration/acculturative stresses, mental illnesses, suicidal behaviors, and substance abuse among Asian-American populations across the developmental lifespan. Originality/value - This paper provides specific suggestions for interventions to adequately respond to the mental health needs of young Asian-American women. These include addressing the cultural stigma and shame of seeking help, underlying family origin issues, and excessive alcohol and drug use as unsafe coping, as well as incorporating empowerment-based and mind-body components to foster an intervention targeting suicidality among Asian-American women in early adulthood.
    05/2014; 7(2). DOI:10.1108/ADD-03-2014-0012
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    • "College students with high levels of depressed mood are also more likely to consume alcohol (Dennhardt & Murphy, 2012; Grant et al., 2009; Hussong, 2007; McCarty et al., 2012) and to have alcohol problems (Sebena et al., 2012). A positive relationship between perceived stress and depressed mood was found among Asian American adults (Cook et al., 2012; O'Hare & Van Tran, 1998; Iwamoto et al., 2011). However, not much is known about their relationship to alcohol problems in Asian American college students. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: This study examined gender, ethnicity and psychological factors associated with alcohol problems among Asian American college students, using the CAGE questionnaire. Method: The study is a cross-sectional, school-based survey. College students who self-identified as Asian, participated. Results: The sample comprised 258 Asian American college students (132 men and 126 women). In all, 17.7% of males and 8.9% of females had alcohol problems based on CAGE score of 2 or more; yet, the difference was marginally significant (χ2 [1, N = 225] = 3.7, p = 0.08). Chinese and Vietnamese males tended to have more alcohol problems than females in their respective ethnic subgroups. Among Koreans, more females (33%) had the problems than males (11%). Male students did not differ in alcohol problems by ethnicity, whereas Korean females were more likely to have the problems (χ2 [4, N = 112] = 13.0, p = 0.01) than females in the other groups. After controlling for gender, Asian American college students who were older (≥25), smoking currently and reporting depressed mood were more likely to have alcohol problems. Conclusions: College health center workers should monitor more closely Asian students who have the risk factors for early detection of and treatment for alcohol problems.
    Journal of Substance Use 02/2014; 19(1-2). DOI:10.3109/14659891.2012.709912 · 0.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The severity of heavy drinking among Asian Americans has often been dismissed because of relatively low rates compared to other racial/ethnic groups. However, higher depression and suicide rates among Asian Americans and their association to alcohol use suggest serious detrimental effects of heavy alcohol use among Asian Americans. Gender differences in heavy drinking have been documented among other immigrant based ethnic minorities, little is known of this pattern for Asian Americans. The purpose of the present study was to examine gender differences in heavy drinking, poor mental health, and substance use among a national sample of Asian Americans (N = 581) in the National Latino and Asian American Study (NLAAS). Using National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) guidelines, heavy drinkers were categorized as those who exceeded the recommended weekly number of drinks (≥14 drinks/week for male and ≥7 drinks/week for female). Accordingly, six comparison groups were created (male non, light, and heavy drinkers, and female non, light, and heavy drinkers). Pearson's chi-square test was conducted to examine percentage distribution for the six groups for mental health disorders (i.e., suicidality, DSM–IV mental health endorsement for past 12-month and lifetime). Logistic regression was followed to determined predictors for heavy drinking behavior for men and for women. Female heavy drinkers reported significantly poorer mental health than non drinkers, light drinkers and male heavy drinkers, as indicated by higher rates of lifetime generalized anxiety, and depressive disorders. In contrast, male heavy drinkers were more likely to have lifetime substance use disorders. Findings suggest the need to develop gender-specific drinking interventions for Asian Americans that focus on improving mental health among women and substance treatment among men. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)
    Asian American Journal of Psychology 09/2012; 3(3):160. DOI:10.1037/a0028306
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