Author(s): Cook WK, Caetano R
BACKGROUND: Heterogeneity in drinking across national groups is well documented, but what explains such heterogeneity is less clear. To improve understanding of the underlying cultural conditions that may lead to diverse drinking outcomes, we investigate whether 3 dimensions of ethnic drinking culture (EDC)-alcohol consumption level, drinking prevalence, and detrimental drinking pattern (DDP) in the country of origin (COO)-are significantly associated with alcohol consumption in Asian Americans and Latina/os, and whether the associations vary by gender and socioeconomic status (SES) as assessed by educational level.
METHODS: A nationally representative sample of 1,012 Asian American and 4,831 Latino adults extracted from the Wave 2 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions data was used. A series of multiple logistic and linear regression models were fitted separately for Asian Americans and for Latinos. Analyses were also stratified by gender and educational level.
RESULTS: Overall, the associations between EDC variables and drinking outcomes were more pronounced for all Asian Americans than for all Latina/os, for males than for females among Asian Americans, and for Latinas than for Latinos. In analyses simultaneously stratifying on gender and education level, however, there was a clear pattern of COO DDP associated with heavier drinking and alcohol consumption volume only for Latinos without a college degree.
CONCLUSIONS: Ethnic drinking cultures may influence drinking in Asian American and Latino subgroups, albeit to a varying degree. Low-SES Latinos may be at disproportionate risk of harmful drinking patterns pervasive in their COO. Future research might investigate the complex interplay between socioeconomic disadvantage and cultural conditions to inform targeted interventions for subgroups at high risk of alcohol-related harms.