“What’s in a Game?” Acculturation and Drinking Game Behaviors Among Asian American Young Adults

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Abstract

Research on acculturation and drinking behaviors among Asian American young adults has yielded null and mixed findings. Moreover, very little is known regarding the link between acculturation and context-specific risky drinking activities, such as drinking games participation, in this population. Drinking games have been linked with a number of negative drinking outcomes; however, some games pose more risk than others. In the current article, we present a conceptual framework to delineate mechanisms that may underlie Asian American young adults’ risk for participating in context-specific risky drinking activities and experiencing negative drinking consequences. We use a bidimensional approach to examine how acculturation might be directly or indirectly associated with negative drinking game consequences in a sample of Asian American young adults (N = 122; Mage = 22.1). Participants were recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and completed an anonymous online survey. Controlling for age, gender, college student status (i.e., whether participants were currently enrolled in college), and typical alcohol use on nondrinking game occasions, lower levels of acculturation (i.e., low U.S./high heritage cultural orientations) were indirectly related to elevated levels of negative drinking game consequences through their association with increased frequency of participation in different types of drinking games, namely consumption and dice games. Given the null and mixed findings reported in the acculturation and alcohol use literature, careful attention to indirect effects could further researchers’ understanding of the specific ways in which acculturation may increase Asian American young adults’ risk for participating in risky drinking practices and experiencing negative drinking consequences.

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