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alcohol drinking, culture, emigrants and immigrants, Korean American



  1. Kim, Younkyoung
  2. Lowe, John
  3. Hong, OiSaeng


Background: A permissive drinking culture is one reason for the high level of alcohol consumption among Korean men. Despite shared experiences of the Korean drinking culture that often encourages social drinking, Korean American and Korean male workers may differ in their drinking behavior. This study examines the predictors of controlled drinking behavior and between these two groups.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the predictors of controlled drinking behavior between Korean American and Korean male workers.


Methods: Two hundred eighty-two male participants (141 Korean Americans and 141 Koreans) who engaged in social drinking were surveyed. Ajzen's theory of planned behavior was used to examine the predictors of controlled drinking behavior. Structural equation modeling was employed to test the theoretical model for each group, followed by multiple-group analyses.


Results: Most participants were college-educated and white-collar workers. Korean American workers had fewer heavy episodic drinking days in the past month than Korean workers. Model testing for each group revealed that subjective norms and perceived behavioral control predicted intentions of controlled drinking, but only perceived behavioral control was a significant predictor of controlled drinking behavior. Multiple-group analyses indicated no difference between the two groups regarding the predictors of controlled drinking behaviors.


Discussion: Programs to promote controlled drinking for Korean American and Korean male workers should incorporate strategies to increase perceived behavioral control, such as training on how to decline drinking. In addition, early education for healthy drinking culture with a strict drinking environment needs to be considered to improve controlled drinking behaviors.