University of Illinois at Chicago
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Understanding Family-Based Cultural Influences on Alcohol Use among Chinese American Adolescents

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posted on 2014-06-11, 00:00 authored by Li Hua Wang
The focus of this research is to advance an understanding of a culturally-based factor, intergenerational cultural dissonance (ICD), within Chinese American families and its relationship to increasing the vulnerability of adolescents to engage in alcohol use. Moreover, it addresses the role of parent-child bonding as a protective factor, and explores the interactions among parenting styles with ICD and parent-child bonding on risk for adolescent alcohol use. Data were collected from 187 parent-child dyads through self-administered questionnaires from students in the 6th through 8th grades and their parents from three elementary schools in the Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood, and Armour Square and Bridgeport community areas. Nonprobability sampling was chosen for this research study due to the hard-to-reach and unique population targeted. Results from this research study revealed that parent-child bonding within Chinese American families served as a protective factor against alcohol use among adolescents (O.R.=0.56; 95% C.I.: 0.38, 0.85; p = 0.006). Child’s perceived level of conflict with his/her parent, on the other hand, was positively associated with risk for alcohol use (O.R.=2.11; 95% C.I.: 1.13, 3.93; p = 0.02). In examining bonding and conflict as mean values within parent-child dyads, findings reveal that the authoritarian and neglectful parenting styles may be harmful by increasing the likelihood of children to engage in underage drinking. In contrast, guan, a parenting style specific to the Chinese culture, was strongly protective. Acculturation gaps were positively related to intergenerational conflict within Chinese American families. Results suggest that ICD occurs mainly from the differences between parent and child in Asian behaviors and values. This study also found that the neglectful and authoritarian parenting styles interacted with the gaps to predict greater conflict among all the dyads. Gaps under guan consistently predicted less conflict compared to gaps under the authoritative parenting style. Positive parenting practices were inversely related to ICD, revealing that the greater the degree of parenting practices engaged by parents as perceived by the child was predictive of less conflict among all dyads. Lastly, the neglectful parenting style and guan interacted with parenting practices to predict less conflict than practices under an authoritative parenting style.



Kviz, Frederick J.


School of Public Health

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Committee Member

Altfeld, Susan Miller, Arlene M. Freels, Sally Cho, Young I. Fagen, Michael C.

Submitted date



  • en

Issue date


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