242656 Does social capital pay off differentially between ethnic groups: Analyzing the health effects in three Asian American subgroups

Monday, October 31, 2011: 12:30 PM

Shijian Li , School of Medicine, New York University, New York City, NY
Jorge Delva , School of Social Work, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
Background/significance: The “model minority” myth views Asian Americans as having higher levels of education, income and better health, but increasing evidence shows there are dramatic intra-group disparities in SES and health within these populations, sometimes even larger than that between racial groups. Objectives: This study investigated the intra-group disparities in SES and self-rated physical and mental health among Vietnamese, Filipinos and Chinese Americans. It also examined whether the concept of social capital explained variations in health between these populations. Methods: Data are from a national representative survey of Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese and other Asian Americans, the 2001-2003 National Latino and Asian Americans Study. The dependent variables included self-rated physical health and somatic symptoms. The primary independent variable, social capital, consisted of four measures: social ties with friends and relatives, evaluations of family relations and neighborhood environment. Interactions between ethnicity and social capital were also tested. Data were analyzed with weighted multivariate logistic regression taking into account the complex sampling nature of the survey. Results: Although Vietnamese had the lowest educational level and mean household income, they exhibited better self-rated physical health and less somatic symptoms. They also had higher levels of family and neighborhood cohesion. Social capital, particularly family and neighborhood cohesion, was more strongly associated (higher ORs) with physical and mental health among Vietnamese than among the other groups. There were also gender differences by groups. Conclusions: The results suggest that the health effects of social capital may not be uniform; rather, these may be moderated by social contexts.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. To investigate the disparities in physical and mental health among Asian American subgroups 2. To analyzes whether the concept of social capital explains the variations of physical and mental health among Asian American populations. 3. To examine whether social capital pays off differentially across ethnic groups

Keywords: Asian Americans, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the sole writer of this paper.
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.