Funding: NIAAA R21AA027882
A Lifecourse Examination of Critical Periods and Subgroup Disparities
Principal Investigator: Christina Tam, PhD
Other Research Team Members: Camillia Lui, Deidre Patterson, Libo Li, Won Kim Cook
Using a risk and resilience framework, this project pinpoints specific ages over the life course, from adolescence into adulthood, when Asian Americans are at highest risk for alcohol and tobacco use and co-use. Identifying modifiable factors that are important for avoiding excessive alcohol and tobacco use for specific subgroups based on gender, nativity, and ethnicity will ameliorate disparities and provide a knowledge base for targeted prevention efforts among a racial/ethnic group that is typically overlooked in research and programming.
Through a secondary analysis of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health), the project examines when and why Asian Americans engage in heavy alcohol and tobacco use and co-use across the lifecourse (from ages 12-43).
In addition to exploring patterns of alcohol and tobacco co-use, we will extend the investigation of alcohol and tobacco use into adulthood with a focus on risk and resiliency factors relevant to the Asian American experience. First, the study will provide descriptions of longitudinal trends of elevated and sustained alcohol and tobacco use and co-use from adolescence to adulthood.
Then, we will identify risk and resiliency predictors at multiple levels (i.e., individual, family, interpersonal, and neighborhood) for Asian Americans that are associated with sustained alcohol and tobacco use and co-use over time. We innovate by employing time-varying effect modeling to determine specific ages and developmental periods for informing preventive interventions, setting us apart from extant developmental research.
The third analyses will use moderated mediation to address how contextual risks may influence behavior by ascertaining whether an internalizing factor helps to explain the associations of family and interpersonal risks, along with a neighborhood resiliency factor, on alcohol and tobacco use and co-use. We will examine whether a family protective factor buffers the deleterious effects of the contexts with which the individual interacts. Finally, because of considerable variation in alcohol and tobacco use among Asian Americans, we will assess for subgroup differences (by gender, nativity, and ethnicity) in these relationships through exploratory analyses.
This exploratory study will inform prevention science by permitting the identification of specific contexts and mechanisms within certain developmental periods relevant to sustained alcohol and tobacco use and co-use among Asian Americans. The study will also build on prior research by extending the lifecourse examination of heavy alcohol and tobacco use into adulthood and by focusing on co-use in Asian Americans.
This research is critical for establishing a knowledge base in developing culturally relevant preventive interventions to address use and misuse in diverse communities. Future projects will be designed to help translate the study findings into community-based, multilevel interventions for at-risk Asian Americans within specific contexts.