Does Acculturation Alter Smoking Behavior Among Asian American?
(School of Public Health (UMD) BCH Doctoral Student)
Background/Significance: Acculturation is a process that involves adoption to a new culture while maintaining individuals’ culture of origin. The acculturation process can create stress and sometimes acts as risk factors for smoking behavior. Asians are a major immigration population, and 10.9% of Asians smoke in 2013, but very little is known about the acculturation effect on smoking behavior among Asian populations. Purpose/Rational: This study examines the association between acculturation, acculturative stress, and smoking behavior among Asian Americans. Theoretical Background/Concepts: Individual health behavior is determined significantly by social factors such as culture and environment. Moreover, Social Cognitive Theory is useful framework for understanding smoking behavior within social context. Social Cognitive Theory explains how individual performs behavior by emphasizing interactions among cognition, behavior and environment. Research Methodology/Approach: A sample of 2,095 Asian Americans in the National Latino and Asian American Survey (NLASS) were studied. Logistic regression was used to analyze the effect of six acculturation and ten acculturative stress variables on four smoking measures. Sociodemographic characteristics are included as control variables. Findings/Conclusion: Preliminary analyses suggests that foreign born Asians were more likely to smoke at least once in past 12 months (59.5%) than U.S. born Asians (40.52%). Moreover, out of foreign born Asians, 92.7% Vietnamese, 56.8% of Filipino, 61.7% of Chinese and 43.5% of all other Asians including Bangladeshi, Burmese, Cambodian, Hmong, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Malaysian, Mongolian, Myanmai, Pakistani, Singaporean, Sri Lankan, Taiwanese, and Thai were lifetime smokers. Asians who experienced acculturative stress due to unfair treatment are more likely to be lifetime smokers (OR=1.37). Mean age at first smoking initiation among all Asians was 16.9 years old. Significance/Impact: Smoking cessation for Asian Americans should consider acculturation factors. Future research should focus on qualitative approach to study various Asian sub-ethnic groups to better understand their smoking process.