Online Program

Major depression, religious attendance and mediation of social support among Asian americans in the u.s

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hoa B. Appel, PhD, MPH, School of Nursing and Health Studies, Univ of Washington Bothell, Bothell, 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
Hyung J. Daniel Lee, M.S.W., School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Despite the increasing Asian American population, little research has been done regarding religious involvement as a protective role in mental health among Asian Americans. We addressed this gap using the National Latino and Asian American Study (n=2095), the first national epidemiological household survey of Asian Americans in the U.S. We examined the effect of religious involvement on major depression among Asian Americans, above and beyond the effects of known predictors (i.e. Demographics, discrimination and acculturation factors). Of significance is the mechanism of social support between religious factors and major depression. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to predict the presence of the diagnosis over the past year, using the WHO Composite International Diagnostic Interview, similar to the DSM-IV criteria. Results showed employment status and English proficiency were associated with less depression, whereas years in the U.S. and discrimination were both associated with more depression. After controlling for these variables, religious attendance, but not religious coping, predicted less depression. Our findings suggest that religious attendance may act as a protective factor for Asian Americans' mental health. Furthermore, entry of social support eliminated the influence of religious attendance, indicating its mediation in the attendance-depression link. This study may be the first of its kind to examine religious factors with major depression in Asian Americans using the NLAAS. However, future research should examine more closely this study longitudinally. Implications for culturally appropriate mental health services are also discussed.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe how religious attendance and social support affect major depression in Asian Americans. Discuss an overall view of major depression and mental health related issues in Asian Americans. List four barriers to obtaining mental health care faced by minorities in the U.S. Discuss four reasons why disparities in mental health care exist between minority populations and the general population in the US.

Keyword(s): Depression, Religion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a coauthor on the 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.