224695 Religious involvement in Asian Americans buffers against depression: Results from the National Latino and Asian American Study

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 5:15 PM - 5:30 PM

Hoa Bui Appel, PhD, MPH , Independent Research, Researcher, Everett, WA
Amy Ai, PhD , Department of Social Work, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Bu Huang, PhD , Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Chyongchiou J. Lin Jr., PhD , Department of Family Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittaburgh, PA
The protective effect of certain aspects of religion on depression has been established for African and European Americans in numerous studies. However, little research has been conducted with regard to the association of religion to depression in Asian Americans. This paper extends the existing predictors for mental health in Asian Americans in literature by examining the effect of religious involvement and coping on depression. Multiple regressions were conducted to predict depression using known predictors such as age, gender, education, income, and nativity, among others. Measures of religion were added to these regressions in the final step. Also, logistic regression was conducted to predict the diagnosis of DSM-IV major depressive episodes in the past 12 months, first using the usual pool of predictors and then adding religious attendance frequency. In both regressions mentioned above, a higher level of religious attendance was significant in predicting less depression, even when demographic and other variables were included. The predictive power was enhanced by adding religion variables to the traditional pool of predictors of mental health. This study fills a major gap in the literature as the first comprehensive study to use religious factors predicting mental health outcomes in the first national epidemiological survey of Asian Americans in the United States. Expanding on previous findings on Asian Americans' mental health, our findings indicate that religion as indicated by various understudied variables adds to the predictive power of mental health in Asian Americans.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify five barriers to obtaining health care for minority populations. 2. Discuss four reasons disparities in mental health care exist among minority populations living in the U.S. 3. List four ways religious factors affect mental health care in Asian Americans

Keywords: Depression, Religion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked with co-authors on research and writing of this study.
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.