• Key words;
  • alcohol abuse;
  • alcohol dependence;
  • aborigines;
  • Taiwans


The prevalence of alcoholism was reported to be 0.1 % in an aboriginal study on Taiwan using the census survey method in the 1950s. This study adopted a modified Chinese Diagnostic Interview Schedule to determine the prevalence of DSM-III-defined alcohol abuse (AA) and alcohol dependence (AD) in the Atayal, Paiwan and Yami ethnic groups of Taiwan aborigines. Stratified random sampling was used. The sample sizes of Atayal, Paiwan and Yami were 793, 656 and 106 respectively. The prevalence rates of DSM-III-defined AA and AD were 11.6%, 11.4% and 14.2%; and 9.0%, 8.1% and 6.4% respectively. No significant difference was found between the 3 ethnic groups. These prevalence figures are significantly higher than those for Chinese. In this comparative analysis, 2 distinct etiological hypotheses are proposed for the AA and the AD.