Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Intermarriage and the drug and alcohol dependence of children

From the July issue of Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse:
The percentage of multiracial youth appears to be increasing in the United States. However, little has been disseminated about problem behaviors among multiracial Native Hawaiians, Other Pacific Islanders, and Asians on a national level. Using the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the authors compared multiple-race Native Hawaiians, Other Pacific Islanders, and Asians, while disaggregating by ethnic subgroups, with single-race individuals within respective Asian ethnic subgroups and Caucasians for prevalence of alcohol/drug use and dependence. For multiple-race Native Hawaiians, Other Pacific Islanders, and Asians, high rates of alcohol dependence were observed compared with both single-race Native Hawaiian, Other Pacific Islander, and Asian subgroups and single-race Caucasians; for some multiracial Native Hawaiians, Other Pacific Islanders, and Asians, high rates of drug dependence were also observed.
I don't have access to the journal so I don't know how the authors interpret their results. The findings might suggest that people should marry within their own group to lower the risk of problems for their future children, but my guess is that people who marry inter-ethnically and inter-racially are more unconventional than other people, and their unconventionality is passed to their children, which in turn raises the risk of alcohol and drug dependence.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's my guess, too. I bet if you did a study of people who left their childhood religion, you'd find something similar. It wouldn't say anything about the truthfulness of their childhood religion.

KM