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

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

3318.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 10

Abstract #72686

Alcohol use and cultural beliefs among the Hmong

Vickie D. Krenz, PhD, MSPH1, Justin Lee, MPH1, Eric W. Krenz, PhD1, and Paul Haugan, BS2. (1) Department of Health Science, California State University, Fresno, 2345 East San Ramon Ave, Fresno, CA 93740, 559-278-4014,, (2) Fresno County Workforce Connection, California State University, Fresno, 3302 N. Blackstone #155, Fresno, CA 93726

Each year, alcohol consumption is responsible for an estimated 100,000 deaths in the United States due to alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, cirrhosis, violence, and unintentional injuries. While Asians have been shown to have lower rates for drinking and alcohol abuse than whites, studies suggest that their drinking rates conform to those of the United States populations as acculturation occurs. While Vietnamese and Cambodians have been studied, there is a dearth of data on alcohol use and cultural patterns of use among the Hmong. The purpose of this study was to investigate the cultural patterns and beliefs of alcohol use among the Hmong. Focus groups consisted of three groups (female, 25-36 yrs.; female, 36-46 yrs; and male, 46 yrs and older) with a total of 8 to 10 participants in each group. Patton’s qualitative analysis for trends was utilized to analyze the data. Based on the results, alcohol is an integral part of Hmong wedding negotiations, wedding ceremonies, social occasions, and religious/spiritual rituals. “White whiskey” was the traditional alcoholic drink of the Hmong in Laos and was produced in the home. Alcohol use was more common and acceptable among men as compared to women. In the United States, beer has become the most commonly used alcoholic beverage among the Hmong. While the prevalence of alcohol is unknown, cultural beliefs hold that alcohol is an effective medicine. Cultural beliefs of alcohol abuse revealed that becoming drunk (“loss of control”) could result in loss of mind, loss of energy, and death.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alcohol Use, Asian and Pacific Islander

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.

Alcohol Problems and Solutions in Special Populations Poster Session

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