• aborigine;
  • alcoholism;
  • risk factor;
  • nosology;
  • epidemiology

The objective of this study was to explore possible risk factors of alcohol abuse (AA) and dependence (AD), as defined by DSM-III criteria, in Taiwan aborigines. The risk factors in a sample of 1555 Taiwan aborigines were analyzed by using the chi-square test and multivariate logistic regression statistics. The logistic regression showed that the risk factors of AD are being male, having relatively little education, being involved in a problem marriage, being a laborer, being part of a couple with a drinking problem, and having a positive family history of alcoholism. AA has the risk factors of ethnic subgroups dwelling in the main Taiwan Island, male, poor education, working people, and a drinking problem for the couple. Etiological models are proposed as social origins for AA, with interactional model for AD, in this aboriginal sample. Data on Chinese alcoholism is discussed, and a generalized hypothesis constructed that, for the same phenotypical subtype of alcoholism in different ethnic groups, the etiological models are different.