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The implicit self-esteem, confidence and assertiveness behaviors of teenagers have been found to be important predeterminants of drug use among Asian-American adolescents. The pressure of identity confusion along with intergenerational conflict leads to tremendous stress and ultimately becomes a contributing factor in ATOD use. Minority status and general acculturation are noted as two stressors that are leading risk factors for initiation into drug abuse.
Another important contributor to drug use is parental involvement and parental abuse. Parental abuse leads to significant perception changes in teenager's views of the permissiveness towards ATOD use. Asian-Americans parents, because of the closeness of the family unit and accordance of respect among elders, have an even greater influence on their children's overall perception of acceptability than normal. Therefore, they ultimately help define drinking norms and tolerance to other drugs based upon their own use and attitudes. These factors are all prevalent among Asian-Americans at risk for drug abuse.
The above research has clearly shown that there is a gapping hole within Asian-American teenage drug abuse. Intergenerational conflict among Asian-American teenagers is a prevalent issue, and it is evident that drug use rates are on the rise. The following analysis will attempt examine not only the quantifiable metrics of the narcotics problem, but also what the root causes of this problem is. The hypothesis of this study is that the Asian-American ATOD usage is much higher than reported national averages. A subsidiary hypothesis is that ATOD usage occurs because of intergenerational conflict, economic disparagement, and social environment factor.
In order to understand the precise metrics of drug use within Asian-American teenage populations, specific data must be collected within Asian-centric areas. The Asian-American community is specifically focused within large urbanized demographics; many communities have concentrations of 80% to 90% within their communities. This study will collect data among these areas in order to dilute outliers and also to understand how second generation Asian-American teenagers are actually dealing with ATOD usage. Two specific areas to be examined will be Los Angeles County and San Francisco County. These two school districts report the highest rate of Asian-American students on a national level. Thus, they will be the ideal environment to gain the highest level of accurate data.
There are two independent factors that will be analyzed within this study, drug use among Asian-American teenage demographic, and the specific causes of their drug use. In order to compile data on this specific topic, a multi-cultural survey will be attached to the state competency examination given every year. This is a mandatory test for all Californian students; therefore it will have the highest response rate. We will ask a series of questions that will specifically focus on ATOD usage. The reason that a survey will be the best tool is that we need a large population for this study; this study will allow us to access a large pool of candidates to give us the sample size needed for an accurate analysis. Specific questions will be masked within several contexts, drug usage questions will be mixed with questions that deal with family history, abuse, conflict and alcohol and tobacco usage. The goal is to randomize answers to ensure that the specific focus of the survey will not be on drug usage. This will increase the likelihood that students will answer accurately since they will not understand the focus of this particular study.
In order to eliminate bias within study results, we will take results from all students within these districts and explain that this specific test will apply to Californian students. The purported purpose of this survey is to assess the social conditions of students within Californian schools. The results obtained from this analysis will be compared with several different metrics and surveys. Another addition that we will make to our survey is to delineate specifically the different classes of Asian-Americans, focusing on Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Pacific Islander. We will also ask if they are first generation, second generation, or beyond. We will place these metrics at the beginning of the project and allow users to selectively answer these questions. Hopefully this will help our understanding of their relative racial positioning.
The results within this survey will be compared using several different metrics. First, it will be analyzed in its entirety and compared with nationally published statistics. Since the demographic concentration of Asians will be significant, our data should show dramatically disparate results from the national level survey. Secondly, we will compare these metrics against each other by doing a test for independence across the various different schools to find which ones are on the lower spectrum of drug use and which ones are relatively high, the goal is to establish an "average rate of drug use" among Asian-Americans, and understand exactly where danger areas for Asian-American drug abuse occur. Furthermore, we will then analyze those who report drug use and conduct a complete metric and understanding the reasons why drug use occurs and correlation study of independence to delineate the specific correlation between certain metrics such as family abuse, or gang activity as the reason for their drug abuse. We expect that comparison metrics will show the most troubled areas will be low income area schools. In addition we believe that there will be a positive correlation between drug use and intergenerational conflict issues.
The specific reason that we have chosen a survey approach is that it allows us the widest sample size and allows us to compare metrics across many different school districts to target Asian-American teenagers. There are many limitations to our approach, most specifically, statistical collection using surveys have been shown to have limited accuracy because all data is collected anonymously and subjects may not take the survey seriously. However, we believe that part of the problem with past studies is that they have lacked Asian-American specific questions of cultural and intergenerational conflict that we hope our survey will address. Therefore we believe that although there is room for error, in general this will be a relatively accurate and effective study.
The problem of Asian-American teenage drug abuse is becoming a problem within society for several reasons. The pressures of intergenerational conflict and identify conflicts have sparked greater drug use among Asian-American teens. Past studies have been ineffective largely because they do not ask the right questions and Asian-American groups are under represented. Our study will have much greater specificity in comparison with other studies due to our focus on Asian subgroups and our specifically tailored questions to address social, economic and cultural implications of Asian-American teenagers in these demographics. We hope that this will make our study much more robust than previous studies and give greater concentrated detail on the problems of Asian-American teenage drug abuse.
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Wallace, J.M., Jr., & Bachman, J.G. (1993). Validity of self-reports in student-based studies on minority populations: Issues and concerns. In M.R. De La Rosa & J-L Recio Adrados (Eds.), Drug abuse among minority youth: Advances in research and methodology (NIDA Research Monograph 130, pp. 169-170). Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse.
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Drug use among Asian-Indian adolescents: identifying protective/risk factors
Spring, 1998 by Gauri Bhattacharya
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