, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 85-94
Date: 17 Nov 2006

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

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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.