Original Paper

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 85-94

Sexual Behavior and Drug Use Among Asian and Latino Adolescents: Association with Immigrant Status

  • Jon M. HusseyAffiliated withDepartment of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, and Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Email author 
  • , Denise D. HallforsAffiliated withPacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
  • , Martha W. WallerAffiliated withPacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
  • , Bonita J. IritaniAffiliated withPacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
  • , Carolyn T. HalpernAffiliated withDepartment of Maternal and Child Health, School of Public Health, and Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • , Daniel J. BauerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Abstract

This paper contributes new evidence on the association between immigrant status and health by describing and attempting to explain patterns of co-occurring sex and drug use behaviors among Asian and Latino adolescents in the United States. Nine patterns of sex and drug use behaviors were identified from a cluster analysis of data from 3,924 Asian and Latino youth (grades 7–12) who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The relationship between immigrant status and risk cluster membership was evaluated with multinomial logistic regression. Compared to foreign-born youth, U.S. born Asian and Latino adolescents were more likely to engage in sex and drug risk behaviors. Family and residential characteristics associated with immigrant status partly accounted for this finding. The results indicate that among Asian and Latino adolescents, assimilation to U.S. risk behavior norms occurs rapidly and is evident by the second generation.

Keywords

Acculturation Immigrants Sexual behavior Substance use United States