230197 Contextualizing acculturation: The influence of gender, family, neighborhood, and community reception contexts on immigrant Asian mental health

Monday, November 8, 2010 : 10:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Janxin Leu, PhD , Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Emily Walton, PhD , Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
David T. Takeuchi, PhD , School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background: Models of acculturation have long been used to study the psychological development of immigrants, where an individual's adaptation to culture contact and change is studied as an individual difference measure. Most models of acculturation suggest that immigrants vary along one or two dimensions of adaptation, ranging from greater identification with either the dominant host culture and/or culture of origin. However, these approaches do not consistently predict mental health and other health correlates of adjustment. One promising, but under-researched, direction of research to resolve inconsistencies is to contextualize individual differences in acculturation in the settings of gender, family, neighborhood, and community. Objectives: We test two hypotheses. We expected that social contexts, such as family, neighborhood, and community contexts, would interact with individual differences in acculturation and have direct influences on the mental health of immigrant Asian adults. We also expected gender to pattern family, neighborhood, and community contextual influences on immigrant Asian adult mental health. Methods: Analyzed data from the first nationally representative psychiatric survey of immigrant Asian men and women in the U.S. (n=1583) Results: We found family contexts to be an especially relevant site of socialization that influenced immigrant mental health. Conclusions: Individual differences in conventional acculturation variables (e.g., English proficiency and ethnic identity) interacted with family and community contexts to influence the mental health of immigrant Asian men and women differently.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Define acculturation factors for immigrants. List types of social contexts. Describe how social contexts interact with acculturation differences to influence mental health among Asian immigrants.

Keywords: Immigrants, Social Inequalities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Professor and researcher of cultural psychology
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.