A transitional study of migration, alcohol use and concept of alcohol drinking behaviours amongst Chinese migrants in New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the Master of Philosophy, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand

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Migration is a complex and stressful life changing event. Resettlement process can cause tremendous stress for Chinese migrants, due to the huge differences between China and New Zealand. Alcohol use behaviours among migrants are complex and likely influenced by many factors, including social norms, mental health and acculturation. The drinking culture among Chinese migrants may alter due to acculturation. This research was conducted as a preliminary study to explore the factors that shape the alcohol consumption patterns, beliefs and the factors that could influence alcohol consumption related aspects from migration, acculturation and social adjustment amongst 12 Chinese migrants in New Zealand. A qualitative research design using one on one interviews and focus groups was utilised in this research. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The study revealed Chinese migrants’ cultural norms, beliefs and attitudes towards the use of alcohol and the way they have been acculturated to a more westernised drinking culture with widened choices of multicultural alcoholic beverages in New Zealand. However Chinese migrants still maintained some traditional Chinese drinking customs and also integrated oriental and western drinking culture together in their drinking occasions in New Zealand. Adapting to the New Zealand drinking culture in a problematic way, or using alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with negative emotions or loss due to migration can lead to harmful drinking behaviours, e.g., drinking and driving, excessive alcohol consumption. The initial migration period, homestay and family living in New Zealand were identified as the protective factors to prevent excessive alcohol consumption and risky drinking behaviours among Chinese migrants in New Zealand. The research indicated further studies of drinking culture among Asian migrants are needed in New Zealand.
Chinese, Immigrants, Migrants, Alcohol use, Drinking, New Zealand, Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Psychology