The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4250.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 4:45 PM

Abstract #63057

Social Environment and Southeast Asian Teen Drug Use

Juliet P. Lee, PhD, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Prevention Research Center, 2150 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 900, Berkeley, CA 94704, 510-486-1111,

This study presents preliminary findings on the relationship between drug use and neighborhood environment for Southeast Asian youth in two multi-ethnic Northern California urban areas. While very little data is available on substance use and misuse among Southeast Asians, Southeast Asian youth may be particularly at risk for substance use. Peer influences have been shown to closely correlate to substance use in population-based studies of adolescent drug use. This relationship may be particularly salient for Southeast Asian youth due to the generation gap between themselves and their immigrant parents, together with the high-risk neighborhoods in which many Southeast Asians reside. The present one-year pilot study investigates three aspects of the relationship between drug use and social environment: 1) the role of ethnicity in neighborhood-based social influences to use drugs; 2) perceptions of neighborhood drug use and related issues; and 3) ease of access to drugs in the neighborhood. In-depth ethnographic interviews were conducted with youth of Lao, Mien, Cambodian and Vietnamese backgrounds between the ages of 16 and 23 residing in one of two low-income multi-ethnic neighborhoods. The non-random sample included only youth with personal histories of drug use; respondents were recruited through referrals from youth-serving agencies and through snowball referrals. Respondents included first- and second-generation youth. Preliminary findings indicate complex relationships between neighborhood and ethnicity in the drug use of Southeast Asian adolescents.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander, Drug Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Children's Health

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA