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The association between self-reported racial discrimination and 12-month DSM-IV mental disorders among Asian Americans nationwide

Author

Listed:
  • Gee, Gilbert C.
  • Spencer, Michael
  • Chen, Juan
  • Yip, Tiffany
  • Takeuchi, David T.

Abstract

Growing research finds that reports of discrimination are associated with mental health. However, many US studies are focused on regional samples and do not control for important confounders such as other stressors and response factors. The present study examines the association between self-reported racial discrimination and DSM-IV defined mental disorders among Asian respondents to the 2002-2003 US National Latino and Asian American Study (n=2047). Logistic regression analyses indicated that self-reported racial discrimination was associated with greater odds of having any DSM-IV disorder, depressive disorder, or anxiety disorder within the past 12 months--controlling for sociodemographic characteristics, acculturative stress, family cohesion, poverty, self-rated health, chronic physical conditions, and social desirability. Further, multinomial logistic regression found that individuals who reported discrimination were at a twofold greater risk of having one disorder within the past 12 months, and a threefold greater risk of having two or more disorders. Thus, self-reported discrimination was associated with increased risk of mental disorders among Asian Americans across the United States and this relationship was not explained by social desirability, physical health, other stressors, and sociodemographic factors. Should these associations ultimately be shown enduring and causal, they suggest that policies designed to reduce discrimination may help improve mental health.

Suggested Citation

  • Gee, Gilbert C. & Spencer, Michael & Chen, Juan & Yip, Tiffany & Takeuchi, David T., 2007. "The association between self-reported racial discrimination and 12-month DSM-IV mental disorders among Asian Americans nationwide," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(10), pages 1984-1996, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:64:y:2007:i:10:p:1984-1996
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Krieger, Nancy & Smith, Kevin & Naishadham, Deepa & Hartman, Cathy & Barbeau, Elizabeth M., 2005. "Experiences of discrimination: Validity and reliability of a self-report measure for population health research on racism and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(7), pages 1576-1596, October.
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    9. Margery A. Turner & Stephen L. Ross, 2003. "Discrimination in Metropolitan Housing Markets Phase II: Asians and Pacific Islanders," Working papers 2003-18, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gong, Fang & Xu, Jun & Fujishiro, Kaori & Takeuchi, David T., 2011. "A life course perspective on migration and mental health among Asian immigrants: The role of human agency," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(11), pages 1618-1626.
    2. repec:eee:socmed:v:185:y:2017:i:c:p:71-80 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Gee, Gilbert & Walsemann, Katrina, 2009. "Does health predict the reporting of racial discrimination or do reports of discrimination predict health? Findings from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(9), pages 1676-1684, May.
    4. repec:gam:jscscx:v:6:y:2017:i:2:p:56-:d:100423 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Yoo, Hyung Chol & Gee, Gilbert C. & Takeuchi, David, 2009. "Discrimination and health among Asian American immigrants: Disentangling racial from language discrimination," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 726-732, February.
    6. Zhang, Wei & Hong, Seunghye & Takeuchi, David T. & Mossakowski, Krysia N., 2012. "Limited English proficiency and psychological distress among Latinos and Asian Americans," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(6), pages 1006-1014.

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