The Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 30, Issue 3–4, pp 453–473 | Cite as

Acculturation Factors and Substance Use Among Asian American Youth

  • Thao N. LeEmail author
  • Deborah Goebert
  • Judy Wallen
Original Paper


In this study of 329 Cambodian, Chinese, Laotian/Mien, and Vietnamese youth in Oakland, California, acculturation factors of individualism-collectivism and acculturative dissonance were examined as risk and protective factors for substance use. Results of structural equation modeling and bootstrapping revealed that peer substance use was a robust mediator between individualism and youth’s self-reported substance use, particularly among Vietnamese and males. Peer substance use also significantly mediated the relation between collectivism and substance use for females. As such, there appears to be ethnic and gender group variations in the saliency of cultural/acculturation factors with respect to substance use. Implications for substance use prevention programs for ethnic and immigrant youth are discussed.


Substance use Asian Acculturation Individualism Collectivism Youth 



We are grateful for the assistance of Isami Arifuku, Mary Lai, Lila Booth, and the 18 field interviewers and interns who assisted in conducting this study. We also extend appreciation to Judi Wood for providing literature support. This publication was supported by Grant R49/CCR918619-01 from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA; UO1AA014289-01), and the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Colorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA
  2. 2.University of Hawai’i at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  3. 3.National Council on Crime and DelinquencyOaklandUSA

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