Highlights of the American Psychological Association 114th Annual Convention

August 10-13, 2006; New Orleans, Louisiana

Joshua Fogel, PhD


November 30, 2006

In This Article

Immigration and Asian Americans

David Takeuchi, PhD, Professor, Department of Sociology and School of Social Work, University of Washington, Seattle, spoke about how the immigration experience affects the mental health of Asian Americans.[15] He discussed 4 types of immigration patterns. The 1.50 generation includes those who arrived in the United States between 0 and 12 years of age. School is their principal area of socialization. They are more like native-born Americans, and it is hypothesized that they will have similar opportunities as native-born individuals to engage in risky behaviors. The 1.25 generation includes those who arrived between 13 and 17 years of age. They have coethnic peers and may be different from Americans with regard to values and lifestyle. There is often a "push and pull" between the American and Asian cultures. The 1.0a generation includes those who arrived between 18 and 39 years of age. Their education did not occur in the United States, and this can constrain their upward mobility. The 1.0b generation includes those who arrived after age 40. They have difficulty finding jobs that match their educational levels.

Dr. Takeuchi reported results from the National Latino and Asian American Study, which included 2095 Asian Americans of Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino, and other Asian ethnicity. He reported that affective disorders increase until middle adulthood and then sharply decline in late adulthood. The one exception to this pattern is among the 1.25 generation, in which there is a steep decline for affective disorders in young adulthood, before it increases again in middle adulthood. He also reported results comparing these 4 immigration patterns to US-born individuals. All the immigrant groups had lower family support and friend support than those who were US-born. The one exception was for the 1.50 group that had similar friend support as for those who were US-born. Also, both the 1.0a and 1.0b groups had lower perceived social status compared with those who were US-born, whereas the 1.50 and 1.25 groups were similar to those who were US-born in that regard.


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