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Ortega, "Intrapersonal and environmental factors associated with Chinese youth alcohol use experimentation and binge drinking behaviors," 2008

USC Dissertation in Preventive Medicine (Health Behavior Research).
August 4, 2009

Enrique Ortega, Ph.D.

Abstract (Summary)
This study investigated selected intrapersonal and environmental determinants of youth alcohol use in a Chinese youth population to explore the role that such determinants have on alcohol use experimentation and onset. This study analyzed which determinants functioned as risk and protective factors for the transition to increased alcohol use; and which variables moderated the impact of other variables in their relationship to alcohol use onset and progression. Longitudinal data from the China Seven Cities Study (CSCS), a health behavior study in seven of China's largest cities, were employed to study these matters. Data was analyzed from 14,434 7th , 8th , 10 th , and 11th grade middle and high school students and their parents/guardians for this study. This study identified important determinants of Chinese youth drinking onset and transition behaviors. Junk food use, smoking behavior, and allowance were incrementally associated with increasing levels of alcohol use in at least one of the analysis models in both genders. Results also indicated that the associations between the selected intrapersonal variables and both levels of alcohol use differed according to varying levels of academic score, allowance, latchkey status, and parental education. In females results indicated that monthly alcohol use reduced the experience of high stress at follow up when 30 day smoking was analyzed in the model. In contrast results with males indicated that initial high levels of stress were found to decrease binge drinking when junk food use and academic score was analyzed in the same model. The results showed that while many alcohol use determinants are similar to those found in the West, some may be particular to Chinese youth population. The information presented here supports the view that alcohol use determinants must be analyzed from as many adolescent life domains as possible given the fact that adolescent alcohol use behaviors are affected by various life domains concurrently.

Advisor: Johnson, Carl A.
Committee members: Sun, Ping,  Unger, Jennifer B.,  Baezconde-Garbanati, Lourdes,  Chi, Iris