Understanding differences in alcohol consumption and depressed mood between U.S.- and foreign-born Asian and Caucasian college students

Jih Cheng J. Yeh, Sharon H. Hsu, Angela J. Mittmann, Dana Litt, Irene M. Geisner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


The number and proportion of foreign-born individuals in the U.S. population has increased in recent decades. From 1970 to 2007, the foreign-born population more than tripled to approximately 37 million (U.S. Census Bureau, 1997, 2008). Foreign-born students are a key subpopulation of college students. About 23% of U.S. undergraduate college students in 2007–2008 were either born outside of the United States (10%) or were children of at least one first-generation immigrant parent (13%; National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education [NCES], 2012). Asian students constitute the majority (30%) of foreign-born undergraduates. Although foreign-born Asian students compose nearly one-quarter of the college population, limited research has examined how rates of alcohol use and depression differ between foreign-born and U.S.-born Asian college students (Gonzalez, Reynolds, & Skewes, 2011; Ralston & Palfai, 2012). The limited research is worrisome given their increasing rates of college enrollment (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011), alcohol consumption (Aud, Fox, & KewalRamani, 2010), alcohol abuse and dependence (Grant et al., 2004), and underutilization of mental health services (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001). Collectively, these factors point to the need for further research tailored to Asian college drinkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-175
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2016



  • Depressed mood
  • alcohol consumption
  • college students
  • foreign-born

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