185213 Acculturation, Stress, & Perceived Social Status among First Generation Chinese Immigrants in New York City Chinatown

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sonia Suchday , Institute of Public Health Sciences, Institute of Public Health Sciences of Yeshiva University/Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Bronx, NY
Judith Wylie-Rosett, EdD, RD , Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Mindy Ginsberg, BSc, MA , Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Patrick McCauley, BA , Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Carol Jane Segal-Isaacson, EdD , Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
William Wang, BA , Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY
Sun-Hoo Foo, MD , NY Downtown Hospital, Manhattan, NY
Study Aims: 1. Validate a measure of acculturation; and 2. Assess association of acculturation with stress and perceived social status among Chinese immigrants. Methods: As part of a larger study assessing acculturation and health among first generation Chinese Immigrants (N=486, Females=335) in NYC Chinatown, participants completed questionnaires (translated into Chinese) assessing acculturation, stress, and perceived social status. Measures & Results: Two subscales of the Stephenson Multigroup Acculturation Scale (SMAS) Dominant Society Immersion versus Ethnic Society Immersion were correlated with the MacArthur Subjective Social Status Scale (MSSSS) and a new measure - Acculturation Ladder (AL) which assessed whether participants' identification with being Chinese or being American on two different pictures of a ladder. Results: Data indicated the validity of the new measure. Dominant Society Immersion was positively correlated with being American (r=.35, p<.0001) and negatively correlated with being Chinese (r=-.14, p<.003) on the AL and Ethnic Society Immersion was negatively correlated with being American (r=-.15, p<.001). Identification with being Chinese was negatively associated with self-reported stress on both measures: AL (r=-.18, p<.0001); SMAS (r=-.10, p<.04). Being American was positively correlated with high perceived social status (r.38, p<.0001). Conclusion: Results indicate preliminary validity of the Acculturation Ladder. Identification with Chinese culture among first generation Chinese immigrants correlated with lower stress compared to identification with American culture which was associated with higher perceived status. In other words, identification with the ethnic group is more comfortable but identification with the dominant group is associated with higher perceived status.

Learning Objectives:
Increased awareness of acculturation stress among immigrants

Keywords: Immigrants, Asian and Pacific Islander

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a co-investigator on the grant; original idea.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.