Educational Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Wang S, Newman IM, Shell DF (2016) Cultural Orientation and Its Associations with Alcohol Use by University Students in China. PLoS ONE 11(11): e0165858.


Copyright 2016 Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License


Cultural orientation is defined as an individual's cultural preferences when encountering imported culture while still living in the native culture. Data was analyzed from 1305 Chinese university students attending universities in Beijing, Kunming, and Wuhan. Cultural orientation was assessed with the Chinese Cultural Orientation Questionnaire, which assesses both Western and Traditional Chinese cultural orientations. The analysis used hierarchical logistic regression with nondrinkers as the reference group and controlling for demographic factors (age, gender, and urban/rural background). Western cultural orientation was found to significantly increase the odds of recent drinking. The results indicated that higher Western cultural orientation was, after gender, the second most important factor associated with Chinese college student drinking frequency. Traditional Chinese cultural orientation was not associated with drinking frequency. This study highlights an unexpected outcome of globalization on students who have not left their home cultures.