Discrimination and psychological distress: Examining the moderating role of social context in a nationally representative sample of Asian American adults

Moin Syed, Mary Joyce D Juan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on perceived discrimination among Asian Americans has consistently demonstrated a negative association to psychological distress and other mental health outcomes. Drawing from Bronfenbrenner's (1979) ecological theory, this study examined the social context as a moderator of the association between perceived discrimination and psychological distress. Objective (ethnic density) and subjective (social cohesion) measures of social context were examined among Vietnamese (n = 478), Chinese (n = 566), and Filipino American (n = 493) adults from the National Latino and Asian American Study. Perceived discrimination was positively associated with psychological distress across all three groups. In addition, ethnic density and social cohesion moderated the association between discrimination and psychological distress with notable variation by ethnic group and operationalization of ethnic density. Overall, the findings highlight the need for further research regarding individuals' subjective experiences with ethnic density.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-120
Number of pages17
JournalAsian American Journal of Psychology
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012

Keywords

  • Discrimination
  • ethnic density
  • psychological distress
  • social cohesion
  • social context

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