The Mediating Role of Parent-Child Bonding to Prevent Adolescent Alcohol Abuse Among Asian American Families
Kviz, Frederick J.
Miller, Arlene M.
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The purpose of this paper is to describe unique culturally-based factors that may increase the vulnerability of Asian American adolescents to engage in alcohol use and abuse and the role of parent-child bonding as a protective factor. In particular, this paper addresses the interactions among acculturation, alcohol use, and parent-child bonding and the challenges Asian American families face in strengthening parent-child bonds. We begin by examining likely causes for alienation that occur as a result of immigration to the United States. We then present the cultural context of Asian American families that can also serve to create distance between parent and child, including the contrasting cultural orientations of individualism and collectivism, Asian traditional values, differences in Eastern and Western parenting styles, and intergenerational cultural dissonance. Next, we present a review of the research that has examined acculturation as a risk factor for alcohol use and abuse among Asian American adolescents, with special attention to the mediating role of parent-child bonding. Finally, we conclude with recommendations for future research on the risk and protective factors for adolescent substance abuse, as well as other risky health behaviors among the growing population of Asian Americans in the United States.