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Study finds homestay students open to abuse, drug use

07-15-2010 16:37 BJT

VANCOUVER, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Asian teenagers studying in Canada away from parental supervision are more susceptible to drug use, smoking, sexual activity and sexual abuse, according to a new study in the May/June issue of the Canadian Journal of Public Health.

The study by four female medical professionals at the University of British Columbia re-examined the 2003 results of a survey of 30,500 students by the McCreary Center Society in the western province. It looked at foreign homestay students from East Asian countries -- mainly China, Korea and Japan -- and compared them with immigrant teens living with their parents in Canada, as well as Canadian-born East Asian youth.

An estimated 1,531 male and 1,554 female homestay students ranging from 14 to 19 years old were in the sample. Twenty percent of those surveyed were not born in Canada and nine percent had been in Canada for less than five years.

Among the findings, 23.3 percent of homestay girls said they had been sexually abused, compared with 8.9 percent of immigrant kids and 8 percent of Canadian-born children. With boys, 5.9 percent of homestays confirmed sexual abuse, against 3.9 percent of immigrant kids and 2.2 of Canadian-born.

The study didn't ask who was undertaking the sexual abuse, study co-author Dr Elizabeth Saewyc said.

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