Ethnic Identity as a Protective Factor in the Lives of Asian American Adolescents

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Laura McLaughlin Gonzalez, Associate Professor (Creator)
Gabriela L. Stein, Associate Professor (Creator)
Andrew "Andy" Supple, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This study examined the buffering role of ethnic identity for Asian American adolescents living in an emerging immigrant community. A sample of 176 Asian American ninth graders completed self-report measures assessing ethnic identity, stressors (i.e., perceived racial/ethnic discrimination; economic stress), and mental health outcomes (i.e., depressive symptoms, self-esteem) at two time points a year apart. The study tested whether ethnic identity moderated the relationships between discrimination and economic stress and mental health outcomes. Ethnic identity did not buffer or exacerbate the relationship between discrimination and mental health outcomes, and discrimination was a consistent predictor of concurrent functioning. However, ethnic identity served both to buffer and to exacerbate in predicting mental health outcomes when youth reported high levels of economic stress. These findings suggest that it is important to further examine the role of ethnic identity for youth facing high levels of economic stress, especially in emerging immigrant communities.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Ethnic identity, Discrimination, Economic stress, Depressive symptoms, Adolescents

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