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Soc Sci Med. 2008 Mar;66(5):1152-64. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.028. Epub 2008 Jan 11.

The association between subjective social status and mental health among Asian immigrants: investigating the influence of age at immigration.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1525, USA. janleu@u.washington.edu

Abstract

This paper examines how age at immigration influences the association between adult subjective social status and mental health outcomes. The age when people immigrate shapes the capacity and efficiency at which they learn and use a new language, the opportunities to meet and socialize with a wide range of people, and respond to healthy or stressful environments. We hypothesize that adult subjective social status will be more predictive of health outcomes among immigrants who arrive in the US in mid- to late-adulthood compared with immigrants who arrive earlier. To investigate this hypothesis, data on immigrants are drawn from the US first national survey of mental health among Asian Americans (N=1451). Logistic regression is used to estimate the relationships between adult subjective social status and mood dysfunction, a composite of anxiety and affective disorder symptoms. As predicted, age at immigration moderated the relationship between adult subjective social status and mood dysfunction. Adult subjective social status was related to health among immigrants arriving when they were 25 years and older, but there was no association between subjective social status and mental health among immigrants arriving before the age of 25 years.

PMID:
18191317
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2810405
Free PMC Article

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