Asian Americans are always shown to have a relatively low rate of substance abuse among all the ethnic groups in the US (Kim, Ziedonis, & Chen, 2007). In fact, studies suggest that Asian American youth are more vulnerable for emotional and social difficulties than youth of other races or ethnicities (Wong et al. 1998). As a group of immigrants, Asian American youth often face acculturation stressors like low self-esteem, high depression and anxiety and social isolation, and more and more studies have reported various behavior problems among Asian American youth, like gang activities (Zhang, 2002), a rapid increase in juvenile crime (Le, 2002) and a significant increase in violence.
The substance usage among Asian American youth keeps at a low level. However, a recent study indicates that there has been an increasing trend in substance abuse among Asian American youth. Asian American youth are proved to have the heaviest level of alcohol drinking among examined racial and ethnic groups (Kim et al., 1995), and the rate of smoking among Vietnamese American adolescents (37.7%)was proved to be close to the smoking rate among Vietnamese American adult males (43.2%) (Wiecha, 1996). In terms of ecstasy usage, although the usage declined after 2002, it has been increasingly used among youth since 2005, and Asian Americans were found to have the second highest rate of ecstasy use among all the ethnic groups (McCabe et al., 2007), as well as the fastest increase in the rates of usage among all the four major ethnic groups (White, African American, Hispanic/ Latino and Asian American and Pacific Islands) (Strote et al., 2002). To sum up, results of studies on substance usage among Asian American youth are inconsistent.
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...), 831–840. doi:10.1007/s10903-012-9593-7
Wong, F. Y., Huang, Z. J., Thompson, E. E., De Leon, J. M., Shah, M. S., Park, R. J., & Do,T. D. 2007 Substance use among a sample of foreign-and US-born Southeast Asians in an Urban Setting. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse, 6(1), 45–66.
Wiecha, John M. 1996. “Differences in Patterns of Tobacco Use in Vietnamese, African- American, Hispanic, and Caucasian Adolescents in Worcester, Massachusetts.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 12 (1): 29–37.
Wong, Paul, Chienping Faith Lai, Richard Nagasawa, and Tieming Lin. 1998. “Asian Americans as a Model Minority: Self-Perceptions and Perceptions by Other Racial Groups.” Sociological Perspectives,41 (1): 95–118.
Zhang, Sheldon X. 2002. “Chinese Gangs: Familial and Cultural Dynamics.” 219–36 in Gangs in America III, edited by C. Ronald Huff. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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