This study examine the relationship between cultural orientation and drinking behaviors, taking into account the role of
gender, hometown, grade and campus environments.
A total of 1279 university students in Wuhan in China participated in our survey during the period of May 1 to August 1,
2011 and they were assessed for measures of drinking behaviors and cultural orientation by Chinese Cultural Orientation Scale.
There were 43.32% regular drinkers, 36.71% occasional drinkers and 19.97% non-drinkers. 39.13% students were western
oriented, 32.61% were traditionally oriented, 17.23% were marginally oriented and 11.03% were biculturally oriented. More
traditional cultural orientation lowered the likelihood of regular drinking, as compared to bicultural orientation. Males had higher
likelihood of regular drinking than females, graduate students had higher likelihood of regular drinking than undergraduates,
students from urban areas had higher likelihood of regular drinking than those from town or rural areas and students in key
university had higher likelihood of regular drinking than those in general university. Contingency coefficients showed there were
some association between cultural orientation with gender(r=0.12), hometown(r=0.12) and university attendance (r=0.11).
Cultural orientation influences drinking behaviors among Chinese university students. More traditional cultural orientation
was associated with lower drinking frequency while biculturalism was associated with higher drinking frequency. Western culture
did not affect drinking directly. There are significant differences in drinking behaviors related to gender, hometown, grade and
campus environments. The role of gender, hometown and university attendance in drinking behaviors is partially through the
influences on cultural orientation.
Hongxiu Tang is studying for Masters degree in Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China. Her focus of study is psychological and sociological aspects of alcoholism under the leadership of Prof. Ping Yin. She has participated in several global and state research projects about alcoholism, such as Global Actions on Harmful Drinking Project Noncommercial Alcohol Use in China
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