Substance Use Among Asian American Subgroups: A Longitudinal Analysis of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health

Zobayer Ahmmad
Daniel E. Adkins, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Bethany Everett, University of Illinois at Chicago

Research on Asian American substance use has been limited by monolithic conceptions of Asian identity, and an exclusive focus on adolescence. This study investigated substance use, including tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other drugs from adolescence (aged 12-18) to adulthood (aged 32-42) among Asian subgroups in the U.S. This longitudinal analysis of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health shows that a significant amount of variation exists across different Asian ethnicities, with the highest likelihood of substance use among Korean ethnicity and the lowest among Chinese and Vietnamese ethnicities. Among Asian subgroups, Japanese and Korean ethnicities are more likely to use “hard” drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine, relative to the Chinese referent. Additional analyses of these ethnic disparities consider potential mediating social psychological factors, including self-esteem and social support. Findings indicate the need for further investigation of substance use disparities among Asian ethnicities in the U.S.

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 Presented in Session 5. Health & Mortality 1