Online Program

Five Asian ethnic groups' perceptions of underage drinking: From Bhutanese, Burmese, Chinese, Korean, and Vieitnamese Parents

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 11:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Daisuke Ito, Ph.D., Organization of Global Affairs, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan
Karuna Ramachandran, CPACS (Center for Pan Asian Community Services), Atlanta, GA

Despite the fact that the number of immigrants from Asian countries has been increasing rapidly, different ethnic subgroups tend to be categorized as “Asian” and disaggregated information is unavailable. As a consequence,  little is known about how differently or similarly ethnic subgroups under “Asian” consume alcohol and engage in risky behaviors. The data collected by Center for Pan Asian Community Services (Ito 2012) demonstrated that the Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese were as risky as whites in alcohol-related issues. Growing up in cultures which underage drinking is permissive, it is hypothesized that parents allow their children to drink alcohol.


CPACS collected a total of 614 surveys from Bhutanese, Burmese, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese parents using convenience sampling. CPACS staff and volunteers used their personal contacts to collect the surveys. Using SPSS, I conducted analyses of variance to examine differences and similarities among the five ethnic groups in alcohol-related behaviors.


The results suggested that Bhutanese, Burmese, and Chinese parents misunderstood the legal drinking age to be 18, which is the legal drinking age of their home countries. While nearly 90% of Vietnamese respondents knew that the U.S. legal drinking age, only over a little half of Korean parents knew that. One similarity across the ethnic groups was that they tend not to talk about family rules about alcohol use.


Disaggregating Asian into ethnic subgroups is a necessary step to understand their uniqueness of alcohol-related issues. Prevention work should take the uniqueness of each ethnic group into consideration.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe how different or similar Asian ethnic groups are in alcohol-related issues. Assess whether the prevention work takes the uniqueness of target groups into consideration.

Keyword(s): Alcohol Use, Asian and Pacific Islanders

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principle evaluator of the alcohol prevention program as well as other state and federally funded programs. For the alcohol prevention program, I developed surveys and analyzed the data. I earned Ph.D. in sociology and have conducted numerous data analyses.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.