Drinking during pregnancy: Practices of cambodian refugees in france and the united states

Carolyn E. D’Avanzo, Sasha A. Barab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This study is part of a larger exploratory study of 155 women of Cambodian national origin who were interviewed in the United States and France. This study reports on data related to frequency of alcohol usage, prevalence of drinking over the trimesters of pregnancy, beverage of choice, whether they spoke either English or French when leaving Cambodia, years of education, and current income. In this sample, Cambodian women residing in France drank more frequently, and drank different substances than those women residing in the United States. With respect to drinking during pregnancy, 37% of the women in France and 23% of the women residing in the United States drank in the. rst trimester. During the second and third trimesters, however, only 5% of the women in France, compared with 18% of women in the United States, continued drinking. It is suggested that different cultural practices in France and the United States account for differences in initial drinking practices. Three possible explanations were suggested to account for the fact that more Cambodian women residing in the United States, as compared with France, reported continued drinking over the course of their pregnancies: more limited health care access, differential selection policies for admittance, and lower overall socioeconomic status (SES). All French women, unlike American women, are covered by a comprehensive program of maternal and child health care. In addition, the Cambodian women residing in France were older, had more years of education, higher incomes, and a greater percentage spoke French before they left Cambodia. The results emphasize the relationship of socioeconomic factors to substance use and point toward a need for programs designed to educate Cambodian women with respect to the problems associated with drinking during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-334
Number of pages16
JournalHealth Care for Women International
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)


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