259942 Discrimination, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Religious Involvement in Asian Americans: Results from a National Study

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Hoa B. Appel, PhD, MPH , Minority Achievers Program, Snohomish County YMCA, Marysville, WA
Amy Ai, PhD , Psychology, Social Work, Family Medicine, and Nursing, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Bu Huang, PhD , Bastyr Research Institute, Bastyr University, Kenmore, WA
Ethel Nicdao, PhD , Department of Sociology, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA
Background: Few studies have examined the role of religious involvement as a potential protective factor in the mental health of Asian Americans. Objective: Using the first national representative sample from the National Latino and Asian American Study (2002-2003), this study examined the direct effect of religious attendance on the diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and self-rated mental health in Asian Americans (n=2095), above and beyond that of discrimination and acculturation factors. Methods: Following pre-planned steps, hierarchical regression models associated (1) gender and discrimination with GAD and (2) gender, employment status, English proficiency and discrimination with self-rated mental health. In both cases, discrimination played an important role. Including religious attendance added explanatory power to both models, indicating its potentially significant influence on mental health. Results: The results indicate religious attendance was associated with self-rated mental health but not with GAD diagnosis in Asian subgroups. Further analyses found that discrimination was associated with lower self-rated mental health in Christians. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that religious attendance and affiliation may play a unique role protecting Asian Americans' mental health, and counteracting the damage of discrimination. Implications for culturally relevant research and mental health services are discussed.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss how acculturation affects discrimination and health care among Asian Americans. 2. List three reasons how disparities in mental health care exist among minority populations living in the US. 3. Identify three ways religious factors affect generalized anxiety disorder and self-rated mental health in Asian Americans

Keywords: Asian Americans, Religion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm the primary researcher on this project
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.